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22 1917 



VI ^i 

BRIGHT 1916 ^g, 

By ^ 

45-47-49 JOHN ST. 
NEW YORK, U. S. A. ^ 


Introduction ....... 9 

Chapter I 17 

A General Outline of Kabbalah. 

Chapter II ....... 29 

Inner Significance of the 22 Letters 
Comprising the Hebrew Alphabet. 

Chapter III 43 

Book of Concealed Mystery. 

Chapter IV ..,,... 67 

Book of Concealed Mystery. Hu- 
manity, Spiritual and Physical. 

Chapter V , . .82 

The Kabbalistic Use and Signifi- 
cance of Numbers. 

Chapter VI .,..,.. 95 

Kabbalistic Views of the Human 
Soul, Its Nature and Destiny. 

Chapter VII 103 

Kabbalistic Doctrine Concerning 
Cause and Effect (Karma). 

Chapter VIII 116 

The Secret Tradition in Israel. The 
Zohar— The Serpent and Fall of the 

Chapter IX . 126 

Biblical Traditions Kabbalistically 

Chapter X 139 

Abraham. Melchisedec, Moses and 
the Law. 

Chapter XI , .153 

Doctrine of the 3 Temples of the 

Chapter XII . 169 

Kabbalistic Teachings Concerning 
the Soul, Its Nature and Its Destiny. 


In any attempt to popularize such an essentially 
mystical work as the Kabbalah the main point to 
be kept in view is that "Kabbalah" is a word of far 
wider significance than is commonly supposed ; it is 
indeed equivalent to "Hermetic" when that term is 
employed in a wider than ordinary historical con- 
notation. The Jewish Kabbalah is regarded by 
many scholars as a work of doubtful age and still 
more dubious authenticity ; it is therefore unwise to 
attempt to speak dogmatically concerning its origin 
in our present state of relative uncertainty concern- 
ing it. But waiving these particular questions, 
which rightfully pertain only to scholastic contro- 
versy, it is entirely within the scope of a popular 
treatise to consider the main idea which Kabbalah 
invariably stands for independently of moot ques- 
tions regarding the authority or authenticity of any 
special book or books. Kabbalah Denudata is prob- 
ably the best known of the Latin works in kab- 
balistic literature. A fairly good English transla- 
tion of this work, Kabbalah Unveiled, by Macgregor 

10 Introduction 

Mathers, is a familiar volume among students of 
things generally termed "occult," and as that trea- 
tise supplies a vast amount of curious information 
in a comparatively simple manner, we shall make 
many references to that extraordinary volume in 
the course of the following pages. 

It may be said that Kabbalism as usually pre- 
sented is a form of theosophical teaching employing a 
Hebrew instead of a Greek or Sanscrit terminology. 
That is the broadest definition which can well be 
given of it. Those who take a narrower view regard 
it is solely an esoteric reading of the Torah or Pen- 
tateuch, and many European Jews who prize a mys- 
tical tradition find in a study of Kabbalah a complete 
vindication of the highest spiritual claims ever made 
for the divine origin of the Sacred Books of Israel. 

Students of Swedenborg may readily trace many 
resemblances between parts of the Kabbalah and 
Swedenborg's monumental interpretation of the Pen- 
tateuch-Arcana Celestia, in which he undertakes to 
show that there are three distinct senses in which 
every word of the Torah may be understood, though 
he by no means confines this three-fold theory of 
correspondences to the first five books of the Old 
Testament. The subject is one which exerts great 

Introduction 1 1 

fascination for many Bible students who feel a pro- 
found reverence for the sacred text but cannot be- 
lieve that its claims to veneration are to be found in 
its external letter, which is often crude and barbar- 
ous. Enlightened thinkers cannot bring themselves 
to endorse the savage idea that the Supreme Being, 
or indeed that any celestial messengers, would com- 
mand or even sanction wholesale massacres such as 
are often attributed literally to divine orders in vari- 
ous portions of the Pentateuch; they consequently 
hail with delight a canon of interpretation which 
assures them that the harsh letter is only like the 
shell of nuts or the skin of fruit, concealing luscious 
and nutritious food beneath a hard external cover- 
ing. The statement is often gruffly made that any- 
one may invent an interior meaning and arbitrarily 
seek to enforce it upon readers, and also in that man- 
ner all so-called esoteric meanings have been given 
to records which originally contained no more than 
their obvious external statements. Though this con- 
tention is sometimes plausible it is extremely shallow, 
and evidences complete lack of familiarity with the 
real nature of all literature reputed sacred; for all 
venerated scriptures were written in times and in 
circumstances when and where the production of 

1 2 Introduction 

books was a distinguished art, and one in which 
only the foremost members of civil and ecclesiasti- 
cal orders were proficient. It is not, however, with 
the genuineness, authenticity or authority of sacred 
writings in general that we have now to deal, but 
only with a strange but intensely interesting frag- 
ment thereof, one that certainly takes high place 
among exceptional literary curiosities and at the 
same time furnishes unusually deep material for 
thoughtful contemplation. 

In Jewry there have always been esotericists who 
have refused to admit that the conventional super- 
ficial readings of the Torah common to Talmudists 
suffice to explain the hidden mysteries contained 
behind the veil of seeming literal history and legisla- 
tion, which is all that the Pentateuch presents to the 
view of the average commentator. The average rab- 
binical exposition is either ethical, ceremonial, his- 
torical or a combination of the three. The Kab- 
balist by no means spurns all or any of these ex- 
planations, but insists that we have not approached 
even to the threshold of the most important mean- 
ing until we have pierced the traditional crust and 
found something far more essential beneath it. It 
h now pretty generally acknowledged that the first 

Introduction 1 3 

eleven chapters of Genesis are far more allegorical 
than literal, and it is frequently proclaimed by prom- 
inent religious ministers that we do not require a 
sacred volume to simply teach us ancient Jewish or 
other outward history. Since the time when 
Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and a few 
other stalwart champions of the theory of evolution 
in its pioneer days battled for a restatement of the 
prevailing theory of creation, or else the substitu- 
tion of a completely new theory of the cosmos, only 
very few persons of respectable intelligence have 
sought to teach that the whole Solar System, of 
w T hich our world is only a minute portion, was cre- 
ated by divine fiat in 6 literal days of 24 hours each ; 
but though it is now admitted on every hand that 
the Hebrew word yom is of varied significance, 
often applying to an indefinite period and at other 
times to only a literal terrestrial day, those who ac- 
company the Kabbalists into the field of purely eso- 
teric meanings are not yet very numerous, though 
certainly increasing. Swedenborg has not been very 
widely read by the average reader, still he is by no 
means an unknown or altogether neglected author, 
therefore the statement that the six days of creation 
enumerated in the first chapter of Genesis have a 

1 4 Introduction 

distinctly spiritual significance will not come to all 
as a complete surprise. To understand the Kab- 
balistic or Hermetic viewpoint one must change the 
generally accepted tenses of the prominent verbs, 
translating all statements out of the past into an 
ever-living present. In place, therefore, of the 
familiar phrase "God spake and it was done" we 
should substitute "God speaks and it is done." This 
difference in grammatical construction clearly em- 
phasizes the radical distinction between 2 essentially 
opposite views of divine activity, for we cannot 
speak of operations in the past tense without think- 
ing of something as having been performed in times 
gone by which is not now occurring, neither can we 
employ the present tense without unmistakably con- 
veying an idea of uninterruptable continuity. 

In ordinary Jewish liturgies we find many traces 
of the thought we are now emphasizing, and no- 
where does it blaze forth more conspicuously than 
in such a benediction as "Blessed art thou, Eternal 
Ruler of the universe, who daily renewest the work 
of creation." Indeed the very word eternal sug- 
gests unmistakably neither beginning nor ending, but 
everlasting duration and consequent unbroken con- 
tinuity of activity. 

Introduction 1 5 

The characteristic words in the Kabbalah are un- 
familiar only to ears unaccustomed to Hebrew 
sounds, and these can certainly be no stranger than 
Sanscrit terms in European ears, and Sanscrit words 
are now in some instances — karma and yoga, for 
example — almost an accepted part of an English 
vocabulary among persons who have caught even a 
few glimpses of theosophical literature. 

As the Kabbalah is evidently a work well repay- 
ing diligent investigation, and all sorts of curious 
books are now undergoing examination, we offer the 
following series of essays simply with a view to 
giving the general and non-technical reader an out- 
line idea of a treasure-house of knowledge and mys- 
tery which it would require an immense amount of 
diligence and patience to extensively explore. As 
the doctrine of Kabbalah has a thoroughly practical 
as well as a mysterious and also a magical aspect, 
we do not think it a vain endeavor to seek to cull 
a few fragrant flowers from this ancient and mys- 
terious garden or to delve for a few gems within 
this largely unworked spiritual mine. The great 
search for unity and attainment of equilibrium is 
the leading motif of all truly kabbalistic studies, 
which are therefore in full accord with all the high- 
est aspirations of our day. 



The best known portion of Kabbalah is called 
Zohar and the most widely circulated translations 
thereof are termed respectively : "The Book of Con- 
cealed Mystery/ 1 "The Greater Holy Assembly/' 
"The Lesser Holy Assembly." The origin of the 
word "Kabbalah" is from the Hebrew qibel, mean- 
ing "to receive." The 70 Elders in Israel constitut- 
ing the Sanhedrin, the highest of all councils, 
which held its deliberations within the precincts of 
the Temple in Jerusalem, according to an ancient tra- 
dition received their esoteric information from a 
school of angels in Paradise whose representatives 
on earth these 70 wise men considered themselves 
to be. It was in the midst of these greatest teachers 
in Israel that when a boy Jesus was discovered at 
the time of his bar mitzvah, 12 or 13 years of age, 
according to the testimony of the New Testament. 
To-day it is not difficult for people to readily under- 
stand in what high esteem these Elders and their 
teachings must have been held by devoted Israelites 
who sincerely believed them to constitute a company 



A General Outline 

of exceptionally holy persons distinguished above 
all others by reason of remarkable wisdom and ex- 
ceptional purity of life. 

The language of the Kabbalah is partly Hebrew 
and partly Chaldee. The 22 letters constituting the 
alphabet of these 2 languages are interpreted by 
Kabbalists in a manner to greatly interest the many 
at present who attach much importance to numbers 
in some mystical and symbolical significance. Let- 
ters and numbers are one in these ancient languages. 
The following table shows at a glance the Roman 
characters which are the equivalents of the Hebrew 
and Chaldee : 

Hebrew and 




























Peg, nail 




Weapon, sword 




Enclosure, fence 












Palm of hand 










of Kabbalah 


Hebrew and 












Prop, support 
















Back of head 












Sign of + 


As the same rule applies to Greek, in which lan- 
guage also every number is a word and each letter 
has its special numerical value, it is not difficult to 
understand in the light of this fact many otherwise 
obscure, if not altogether unintelligible, statements 
in the Apocalypse and other symbolical scriptures 
which appear to the majority of readers to be far 
more like puzzles than revelations. We notice how 
the number of the Beast is given as 666, and how 
largely 7 and 12 enter into all descriptions of what- 
soever denotes or attains perfection. 

Kabbalistic usage suggests an original universal 
symbolical language which could be understood by 
all initiates as Masonic emblems are understood by 
Freemasons throughout the world. To the flippant 
mind the employment of symbols seems unneces- 
sarily confusing and suggests the idea of some al- 

20 A General Outline 

leged mystery being hidden from the multitude pur- 
posely by hieroglyphists who concealed their knowl- 
edge under a veil of allegory which the masses could 
not penetrate. It may be a fact that certain secret 
societies have often done and are still doing that 
very thing, but the primal origin of a sign language 
is not to be found in any desire for concealment but, 
on the contrary, to afford a means for worldwide 
intelligible intercommunication between all the 

The need for a universal language is one of the 
most pressing requirements of the present day, for 
with the rapid coming together of peoples long sep- 
arated by natural as well as by racial barriers, only 
very recently overcome, we cannot much longer con- 
tinue a multiplicity of tongues rendering some of us 
practically dumb in the presence of neighbors with 
whom we desire to work in friendliest accord. What 
certain mystic confraternities long ago succeeded in 
doing within their own sacred precincts we must 
yet come to do on a much larger and far more public 
scale. How far a study of Kabbalah may help in 
this direction may be a somewhat open question, but 
it stands to reason that if we succeed in throwing 
light upon the inner meaning of venerated scriptures 
in a manner to show that there is a hidden Wisdom 
of which all true religionists are partakers, in con- 
sequence of their common scriptural heritage, we 

of Kabbalah 21 

shall have done something definite and substantial in 
the way of bringing venerators of different bibles 
and professors of diverse creeds very much nearer 
together than they have yet been generally brought. 
It is well known among students of Occultism and 
Mysticism that there has always been a sacred and 
secret "church within a church" in Christendom, 
sometimes called "The Church of the Holy Grail." 
In Jewry the equivalent of this has existed through 
the ages by means of a Kabbalah. Between the ex- 
plicit and the implicit of all well-defined creeds and 
ceremonies there is an immense practical difference, 
amounting even to the tremendous distinction be- 
tween the letter which killeth and the spirit which 
maketh alive. By means of Kabbalah we can easily 
show that there is no radical opposition of cere- 
nonialism to mysticism, and that the sacrificial sys- 
tem is essentially symbolical only, and intended to 
ramatically illustrate great truths of universal im- 
port which are allegorically portrayed in a record 
of seemingly external rites and ceremonies. We are 
not attempting to convey the idea that literal sacri- 
fices were not offered in the Temple at Jerusalem, 
but we do insist that there was always an esoteric 
party in Israel which seemingly disregarded the let- 
ter because its members clearly perceived the spirit- 
ual significance enclosed within it. 

22 A General Outline 

Between the esoteric and exoteric schools of inter- 
pretation there is always a meeting-place, and one 
not difficult to discover, but though the esoteric 
party always knows this, the exoteric party fre- 
quently denies it. The chief difference between them 
is because the esoteric is essentially immeasurably 
broader, and in all ways far more comprehensive, 
than the exoteric. Literal forms and distinctions 
are underlooked rather than overlooked by Kab- 
balists, and by underlooking we mean looking within, 
while overlooking may be simply disregarding or 

To the Kabbalist, as to all Israelites, there is but 
one Supreme Being. "Hear, Israel, The Eternal is 
our God, the Eternal is One/' is the foundation 
stone and the universal confession of faith in Israel, 
but how widely different may be the God-idea in 
the minds of different classes of equally avowed 
monotheists we all know fairly well, if we read even 
contemporary literature only and listen to contem- 
porary preaching. 

It is claimed by some respectable schools of Oc- 
cultists that a large portion of Kabbalistic teaching 
is traceable to Egyptian sources and that the treas- 
ures which the Israelites took out of Egypt at the 
time of the Exodus were spiritual and intellectual far 
more than material. Be this as it may, a study of 
comparative language and philology soon rewards 

of Kabbalah 23 

the impartial student with the welcome discovery 
that all systems of religion and all languages have 
largely a common origin; it may therefore prove 
eventually impossible to assign to any single tongue 
or system an uniquely exalted position. The Kab- 
balah deals with cosmology rather than with cos- 
mogony, i. e., it attempts to deal explicitly with the 
operation of distinctly spiritual forces working be- 
hind the screen which veils the divine workshop and 
the workers therein from physical observation. The 
various Sephiroth, by whom the worlds are brought 
into existence and perpetually maintained are vari- 
ously regarded by different interpreters as simply 
distinctly distinguishable attributes of one Supreme 
Creator and as distinct hierarchies or companies of 
celestial intelligences all working out the plan and 
purpose of the Supreme One. It is worthy of note 
that Professor Alfred Russel Wallace in his ex- 
tremely valuable scientific work, "The World of 
Life," though he was a naturalist and a foremost 
evolutionist, teaches a doctrine of companies of an- 
gels so near to the teachings of Kabbalah as to be 
perfectly reconcilable therewith. Wallace was the 
protagonist among British evolutionists of a school 
of scientific thought which furnishes a bond of union 
between Materialism and Spiritualism by showing 
how necessary is the idea of involution as a basis 
for a reasonable view of evolution. The stupid use 

24 A General Outline 

of the word evolution, as though it were explana- 
tory of everything, has been shown up to the fullest 
extent by Wallace, though he was the contemporary 
discoverer with Charles Darwin of those very facts 
in natural science which led to the acceptance of the 
evolutionary theory throughout the Western Hemi- 
sphere during the latter part of the 19th century. 

The following quotation from the famous Dr. 
Ginsburg's "Essay on the Kabbalah" is well worthy 
of serious reflection. This learned author, defining 
Kabbalah, says : "A system of religious philosophy, 
or more properly, of theosophy, which not only ex- 
ercised for hundreds of years an extraordinary in- 
fluence on the mental development of a people so 
shrewd as the Jews, but has captivated the minds 
of some of the greatest thinkers in Christendom in 
the 1 6th and 17th centuries, claims the greatest 
attention of both the philosopher and the theologian." 
This scholar then proceeds to mention a number 
of the prominent men of distinction in various fields 
of learning who were staunch adherents to Kab- 
balah, among them Raymond Lully, Cornelius 
Henry Agrippa, John Baptist von Helmont, Robert 
Fludd and Dr. Henry More, all of whom, and many 
others, were among the profoundest scholars of 
their day. The claims of Kabbalah, he contends, 
were by no means exclusively confined to literary 
men and philosophers; poets, too, have found in its 

of Kabbalah 25 

ample material an inspiration to the exercise of their 
utmost genius, for, as Dr. Ginsburg enthusiastically 
exclaims, "How can it be otherwise with a theosophy 
which we are assured was born of God in Paradise, 
was nursed and reared by the choicest of the angelic 
hosts in heaven, and only held converse with the 
holiest of man's children upon earth. " The story of 
Kabbalah is intensely fascinating and even awe- 
inspiring, for it is claimed that God first taught it to 
a select company of angels who formed a theosophic 
school in Paradise. After the Fall the angels gra- 
ciously communicated this celestial doctrine to the 
disobedient children of earth, to furnish the proto- 
plasts (projectors of systems) with the means of 
returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. The 
record of the migration of the heavenly doctrine 
tells us that it was originally given to Adam (not 
a single individual, but, as Swedenborg has said, "a 
church" or company of persons of a certain type 
bound in a particular fellowship). From Adam it 
passed to Noah (again a company, not a single indi- 
vidual), then to Abraham who took it to Egypt, 
where he allowed a portion of it to ooze out. From 
Egypt it travelled, in some measure, to several 
other lands, so that eventually various Oriental na- 
tions possessed some portion of it in their philos- 
ophies. It is recorded of Moses, who was learned 
in all Egyptian wisdom, that though he gained his 

26 A General Outline 

first knowledge of the sacred teaching in the land of 
his birth, he learned still more of it during the 
period of wandering in the wilderness. It is further 
claimed that through his possession of this sublime 
doctrine Moses was able to settle all manner of dis- 
putes which arose among the people in the course 
of their desert journey ings. Throughout the en- 
tire 40 years of the journey between Egypt and 
Palestine it is stated that the great law-giver was in 
constant communion with one of the angels who 
constituted the theosophic school in Paradise, and 
that he conveyed the truths communicated from 
heaven through the medium of 4 of the books of the 
Pentateuch, but withheld all such teaching from 
Deuteronomy. According to the same tradition 
Moses initiated the 70 original Elders of the San- 
hedrin into the mysteries he had received from the 
angels; and they in turn taught them to pupils who 
in due course became their successors. Of all who 
were initiated it is said that David and Solomon 
were the most deeply versed. As the doctrine was 
originally communicated by oral instruction only, 
there was no written Kabbalah till a much later date, 
about the time of the destruction of the 2d temple, 
when Schimeon ben Jochai dared to write it. Sub- 
sequently his son, Rabbi Eleazar, and his secretary, 
Rabbi Abba, together with several of his disciples, 
collated his treatises and out of them composed the 

of Kabbalah 27 

book called Zohar (splendor), which is the great 
storehouse of Kabbalism. 

The Kabbalah is usually classed under 4 heads 
called respectively Practical, Literal, Unwritten, 

Practical Kabbalah deals with ceremonial magic 
and gives much information regarding talismans. 

Literal Kabbalah is divided into 3 parts known as 
Gematria, Notariqon, Temura. 

Gematria is based on the relative numerical value 
of words. 

Notariqon is a title suggestive of the Latin word 
notarius, meaning a shorthand writer, and the con- 
tents justify the appellation. 

Temura means permutation. The methods em- 
ployed for arriving at the value of words are various 
and intricate, so much so that it requires great pa- 
tience and perseverance to work out the examples. 

The Dogmatic Kabbalah contains the specific doc- 
trine and is less of a puzzle than the foregoing; it 
is, however, by no means easy reading and far too 
mysterious to awaken much response from any 
others than special students who love to delve deeply 
into profound spiritual mysteries. The principal 
doctrines relate to The Nature and Attributes of the 
Supreme Being; Cosmogony; Creation of Angels 
and Men; Destiny of Men and Angels; Nature of 
the Soul; Nature of Angels, Demons and Element- 


als; Import of the Revealed Law; Transcendental 
Symbolism of Numerals; Peculiar Mysteries Con- 
rained in Hebrew Letters; Equilibrium of Con- 
traries. On every one of these erudite topics minute 
information is offered, and when one has attempted 
to grasp even some small portion of the lofty incul- 
cation, there . certainly follows a sense of sublime 
majesty and of glorious purpose in life intensely 
exhilarating. It may be reasonably concluded that 
the Kabbalah teaches that the attainment of equilib- 
rium is the goal toward which we are all progress- 
ing, and some authorities hesitate not to state that 
such is the original meaning of taking up the Cross 
and following a Master. None can dispute the self- 
evident fact that the cross, as a sacred emblem, is 
fomnd all over the world and in connection with civ- 
ilizations antedating by many thousands of years the 
beginning of the Christian Era. In Kabbalah we 
have an attempted solution of the mighty problems 
of our existence, past, present and to come. Whether 
so complicated and profoundly mysterious a com- 
position will ever play a prominent part in religious 
unification or not is an open question, but it may 
certainly be fairly regarded as a storehouse of in- 
formation calculated to set thinking deeply all stu- 
dents who have the disposition to examine it, guid- 
ing them along a path which, if faithfully followed, 
cannot but lead to the discovery of foundation prin- 
ciples upon which coming generations may erect a 
temple of universal faith and worship. 



Many and highly ingenious have been the occult 
and mystical meanings given to each and all of the 
22 letters which constitute the Hebrew alphabet by 
students of Kabbalistic lore, and while some are un- 
doubtedly farfetched and fanciful, we may reason- 
ably decide that there is some solid foundation for 
many of the traditional values assigned them. The 
ist letter, Aleph, like the Greek Alpha (A), signifies 
the Primal One, the Great Original whence all phe- 
nomena proceed. Letters, according to all Kab- 
balists, are not looked upon as arbitrary characters 
artificially invented, but as thought-pictures, sym- 
bolically expressive of mental states, too profound 
to be stated in words. Each letter, then, can stand 
alone with a distinctive value, like a figure, and we 
know that in Hebrew there are no figures apart from 
letters, each letter having its definite numerical value. 
As Aleph literally means an ox it has often been 
astrologically associated with the sign Taurus, the 
Bull. A has stood in Hebrew as the first letter of 


30 Inner Significance 

one of the names applied to Deity, Ahih, signifying 
I Am, or underived Being, the source and permanent 
support of all manifest existence. All Kabbalists 
declare that God is partly concealed and partly re- 
vealed. The letter A denotes revelation and also sig- 
nifies strength, unity and concord. 

The 2d letter, Beth (B), means radically a house 
or home and is said to refer allegorically to that 
inner chamber or closet into which a Master invites 
his disciples to enter for private prayer. This is 
none other than the interior sanctuary of human 
nature, the veritable "heart" which must be kept 
with all possible diligence, because out of it proceed 
all the issues of life. Heart and ark have the same 
meaning in the Kabbalah ; this explains the extreme 
reverence shown to the Holy Ark whenever it is 
referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures. Beth is also 
regarded as the primal mother, Aleph being the 
father ; it refers, moreover, to acquisition. 

The 3d letter, Gimel (G), means a camel, which 
suggests fortitude and wondrous power of endur- 
ance, for that strange animal, familiarly known as 
"the ship of the desert," can endure hardships and 
privations that no other quadruped could sustain. 
Hieroglyphically this letter signifies a half-closed 
hand extended to grasp whatever may be needed for 
its owner's sustenance. 

of the Hebrew Alphabet 31 

The 4th letter, Daleth (D), means a door or gate- 
way. An early form of this letter was a triangle, the 
shape of a tent-door, which form is preserved in 
Greek in the shape of the letter Delta. As we study 
the accounts in various Sacred Writings of build- 
ings said to have been constructed under Divine 
direction, according to the various Bibles of the 
world, we find that each of them had but a single 
door ; this fact is regarded by Kabbalists as a matter 
of profound significance, and Occultists of many 
schools say that it refers definitely to a sole method 
of initiation into the Greater Mysteries. Daleth is 
mystically connected with the soul of the universe. 
On a purely physical plane it denotes the womb or 
matrix throughout nature ; it also is associated with 
ideas of strength and grandeur. 

The 5th letter, He (E), means a window, but it 
also refers to aspiration or ascending breath. The 
full significance of this letter is said to be an estab- 
lished dual base in which masculinity and femininity 
are united in perfect equilibrium, constituting, there- 
fore, a foundation which cannot be removed. 

The 6th letter, Vav (V), means a hook or peg, 
something upon which something else may be hung ; 
the meaning extends to a central support. Symbol- 
ically Vav (or Vau) relates to Beauty, Charity and 
Love. Astrologers often associate it with Taurus 
and speak of it in connection with cervical strength, 

32 Inner Significance 

and as the neck unites the head with the rest of the 
body Vau has been mentioned with valve and mys- 
tically referred to as the blending point between 
upper and lower Manas in our interior consistency. 

The 7th letter, Zayin (Z), means radically a sword 
or any sort of weapon, but hieroglyphically it stands 
for an arrow. Being the 7th letter, many have been 
the sacred ideas associated with it , and frequently 
is it referred to as the sign of spiritualized or regen- 
erated humanity. Persons familiar with the "Tarot" 
will find close connection between Zayin and the 
Chariot in which rides the Conqueror crowned with 
a diadem on which are placed 3 golden pentagrams, 
while above his head is an azure star-decked canopy. 
The equivalent Greek letter, Zeta, means something 
sought and obtained, showing a close relation in this, 
as in many other instances, between the Greek and 
Hebrew alphabets. 

The 8th letter, Heth (H), means a field, or, in 
somewhat wider significance, any definite place sur- 
rounded by a hedge or fence. Owing to its close 
alliance with hah, meaning a hook, some commenta- 
tors have attached that meaning also to it; it has 
also been connected etymologically with the Arabic 
word khath which signifies something that has de- 
scended or been poured down. From these distinct 
but nearly related meanings this letter has been 
spoken of as indicating in some manner the power 

of the Hebrew Alphabet 33 

of mind over matter, or of the higher over the lower 
planes of human intellect. Poetical writers who de- 
light in drawing out the utmost meaning possible 
from Hebrew letters have taken advantage of the 
idea of the octave note in connection with this 8th 
letter in the sacred alphabet and have associated 
Hcth with the New Jerusalem and with The Garden 
of Hesperides wherein are gathered together the 
numberless souls of the righteous who have passed 
through Libra, the 7th zodiacal sign, and have 
thereby attained to the eminence of an equilibrated 
estate in consciousness. 

The 9th letter, Teth (T), literally signifies a ser- 
pent, and as 9 is the highest of our single numerals 
and the serpent is allegorically an emblem of great 
and universal importance in the history of human 
regeneration — because all that the serpent stands for 
must be lifted up by a transmutative process in order 
that regeneration may be completed — much value is 
attached by Kabbalists to this letter. The Greek 
equivalent letter, Thaita, meaning a servant, truly 
explains the rightful place of the reptilian element 
in human economy. All that the serpent connotes 
must be rendered subservient to the higher principle 
in humanity, and when this right relatedness is ac- 
complished the serpent-force, which works so much 
havoc when dominating or uncontrolled, becomes a 
valuable and necessary base upon which a glorious 

34 Inner Significance 

superstructure of noble character and high achieve- 
ment can be upraised. 

The ioth letter, Iod (I), means the hand. It has 
been designated the head of the 4th triad from unity, 
and the culmination of the Spherotic series. It has 
also been declared that from heth all other Hebrew 
letters proceed, it representing both the origin and 
synthesis of forces, therefore it symbolizes spiritual 
perfection. This letter, which denotes the hand, is 
naturally associated in idea with an extension of the 
active principle of life in all directions. Its Greek 
equivalent, Iota, stands for the lowest of one series 
and the highest of another. As the number 10 and 
its multiples occupy so extremely exalted a place 
in the esteem of Kabbalists the first 10 letters of the 
alphabet are .considered much richer in primal sig- 
nificance than the remaining 12, but each of those 
has a distinct value worthy of careful consideration. 

The nth letter, Kaph (K), is the first of the 2d 
and (in a sense) higher series. This letter means 
the palm of the hand and specially denotes strength. 
As heth may be connected with a closed hand con- 
taining all potencies unrevealed, kaph is the same 
member opened out and displaying its inwrought 
possibilities. Here in connection with the mysteri- 
ous number n, about which we often hear remark- 
able stories, we are introduced to all that the opened 
hand signifies. 

of the Hebrew Alphabet 35 

The 1 2th letter, Lamed (L), means literally an 
ox-goad, an instrument of chastisement intended to 
force an animal to do its full share of work should 
it at any time show signs of negligence. Lamech 
(vide Genesis IV, 18-24) is said to represent a com- 
plete personification of the qualities suggested by 
Lamed. Lamed represents the opening of Spring, 
the period when Pisces melts into Aries and the 
reign of the "2 Fishes" is, for that year, at an end. 

The 13th letter, Mem (M), means water. It is 
often called the 2d of the 3 maternal letters of the 
Hebrew alphabet (Aleph, Mem, Shin). In its pres- 
ent form, which has been maintained from remote 
antiquity, it resembles a ripple on the surface of 
water. The astrological zigzag lines denoting Aqua- 
rius have the same origin and significance. Water 
is occultly significant of the intellectual plane of 
human existence and the name Moses (Moshe) lit- 
erally means one who has been drawn up out of 
water, mystically lifed above the intellectual region 
to a plane of spiritual consciousness. 

The 14th letter, Nun (N), means a fish, a living 
creature born and intended to live in water. Fish 
have always been closely associated with divine ac- 
tivities in some peculiar manner, which accounts for 
the similitude employed in the story of Jonah, an 
ancient Hebrew poem fraught w r ith extremely pro- 
found spiritual instruction and alluded to in the 

36 Inner Significance 

Christian gospels as containing a sign of permanent 
value to warn all who may ever be inclined to stray 
from the path of divine direction. Every student 
of comparative religion and philology must be im- 
pressed with the persistent frequency with which 
fish and processes pertaining to fishing are men- 
tioned in close connection with the life and conduct 
of great spiritual teachers. Joshua, who succeeds 
Moses and actually conducts the Children of Israel 
into the Land of Promise, is styled in Exodus, Son 
of Nun. The name Joshua signifies a guide, a leader, 
deliverer, emancipator, and is the Hebrew equivalent 
of Jesus. 

The 15th letter, Samech (X), means a prop, a 
strong support. In Greek as in Hebrew X stands 
before O and there is said to be a valid Kabbalistic 
reason for this occurrence and recurrence of priority. 
An ancient Judaic tradition connects X with Cochab, 
a star, sometimes a comet. Treatises on alchemy 
abound in references to this letter, which for some 
reason is treated as one of far greater than average 

The 16th letter, Ay in (O), has 2 distinct mean- 
ings — the Eye and a fountain. In its highest con- 
notation it stands for a symbol of the All Seeing Eye 
and for interior perception of truth, pure intuitive 
discernment of reality. In its secondary significa- 
tion it refers emblematically to the outflowing of 

of the Hebrew Alphabet 37 

truth from some hidden realm of consciousness as 
water proceeds from some hidden spring when ex- 
pressing itself in the constant flowing of a fountain. 
Ayin stands for the Cyclopean Eye. Historical as- 
sociations have connected this letter with En-gedi, 
the "Goat's Fountain," which is about 300 stadia 
from Jerusalem, a place often mentioned in the Bible 
as the scene of important struggles, notably the strife 
between Saul and David (vide I Samuel XXIV, 
1-4). According to Kabbalistic symbologists, Saul 
and David are respectively impersonations of a lower 
and a higher state in spiritual evolution, and as the 
one rises the other falls. Alchemists in their peculiar 
terminology refer to the same conflict when they 
speak of the perpetual struggle between the mystical 
Sulphur and Mercury, our rational and sensuous 

The 17th letter, Pe (P), literally means mouth, 
and many are the ingenious poetical dissertations 
extant, scattered through Kabbalistic lore, alike an- 
cient and modern, placing this letter in the gate of 
Praise. The Divine Word is said to be concealed 
in the human mouth and the truly initiated utter 
forth this potential Word when they truly sound the 
praises of the All Holy. Though we all under- 
stand clearly enough the literal humane injunction 
not to muzzle an ox which treadeth out our corn, 
by Kabbalists "Muzzle not the mouth of the ox that 

38 Inner Significance 

treadeth out thy corn" is treated as a repository of 
profound esoteric counsel relating to spiritual hus- 
bandry, with which external agricultural works truly 

The 1 8th letter, Tsadi (Ts), means literally a 
fishing hook. The form of this letter is highly sug- 
gestive of this significance. We have found curious 
books on alchemy dealing with its connection with 
that mysterious Leviathan concerning which the 
searching question is raised in that wondrous epic 
poem known as Job, "Canst thou draw out Levia- 
than with a hook ?" (Job XL, I ) . Tsadi, being the 
1 8th letter, is said to share many of the qualities 
ascribed to the 8th letter, Heth, but to possess these 
qualities on a higher plane and to express them in a 
more definitely spiritual manner. Tsadi has been 
termed the spiritual hook ever baited and set in the 
sea of Heth. It may be remembered that the i8th 
figure in the Tarot, corresponding with Heth, is the 
Moon, which is there exhibited as standing or shin- 
ing over a field in which we behold 3 living creatures 
— a dog, a wolf and a fish. The moon is repre- 
sented as shedding blood upon the earth, and as 
blood contains the vital principle, in all esoteric 
schools it is taught that the symbol of pouring out 
blood signifies conveying vitalizing energy. 

The 19th letter, Qoph (Q), means literally the 
back of the head. Hieroglyphically Qoph has been 

of the Hebrew Alphabet 39 

represented by an axe, a sharp incisive weapon. Al- 
chemists attach importance to the meaning of this 
letter in connection with energy manifesting in man- 
ual dexterity and accomplishing the work of ma- 
terialization of hitherto volatile substances. Related 
to Qoph we find qopha, which means to thicken or 

The 20th letter, Resh (R), stands for the whole 
head and particularly for the front portion contain- 
ing the countenance. The Tarot figure correspond- 
ing with Resh is the sign of Judgment and displays 
Gabriel appearing amid clouds while a resurrection 
is taking place, the dead being seen rising out of 
their graves. This is easily understood as mystical 
and not literal, and we have often wondered how 
any Bible student who has pondered over the 37th 
chapter of Ezekiel could find any difficulty in con- 
necting resurrection solely with moral and spiritual 
revival and higher attainment, and not at all with 
physical resuscitation. 

The 2 1st letter, Shin (S or Sh), means literally 
only a tooth, but being the 21st letter in the alphabet 
and 3 times 7 being regarded by all Kabbalists as an 
extremely sacred numerical combination, we must 
look- below this surface definition to grasp the eso- 
teric significance of this mysterious letter with which 
numerous mystical ideas and magical rites have long 
and frequently been associated. Shin has been en- 


40 Inner Significance 

graven upon phylacteries to remind devout Jews of 
omnipresent Deity. This letter varies somewhat in 
form. When a dot is placed over its left prong it 
is rendered Sin, an old Oriental title of the Moon. 
Exodus tells us of the wanderings of the Children 
of Israel in the Wilderness of Sin and while they 
were still roaming the desert they received the Law 
from Sjri-ai. 

The 22d and final letter, Tau (T or Th), is an 
ancient form of the Cross. All students of com- 
parative religion and art know well how universally 
employed has been this much venerated, disputed and 
execrated emblem. Volumes could easily and profit- 
ably be written upon every one of its manifold sig- 
nifications, among which the 2 of utmost importance 
are the ideals of unification and of sacrifice. As Tau 
(the sign of the cross) stands at the end of the 
sacred alphabet it immediately suggests a finished 
work or completed initiation, therefore has it been 
continually affirmed that an initiate dies upon the 
cross to his old estate when he attains hierophancy 
and quickly rises to a new and far more glorious 
condition than any he has enjoyed previously. Tak- 
ing up the cross and following the Master involves 
passing through all the initiatory stages hieroglyph- 
ically portrayed by the employment of the 22 Hebrew 
letters in an esoteric or mystical manner. Alchemy 
rightly understood, as it was taught by Paracelsus 

of the Hebrew Alphabet 41 

and other profound philosophers in Europe a few 
centuries ago, was no mere art of converting cop- 
per, silver, and other less valuable metals into ma- 
terial gold, though we by no means deny the possi- 
bility of literal transmutations in chemical or alchem- 
ical laboratories. The last letter of the Hebrew al- 
phabet suggests death upon the cross as a gateway 
to a new and higher life and closely associated with 
its deeper meanings is the truth conveyed in those 
sublime utterances of some great seer and sage of 
ancient Israel, "Better is the end of a thing than 
its beginning" and "Better is the day of death unto 
him (the righteous man) than the day of birth. " 
Such sublime sayings as the latter of these are apt 
to strike the unthinking as pessimistic, because the 
shallow mind thinks not of death (properly transi- 
tion) as only a step out of one state of conscious ex- 
istence into another. Death and end, in the Kab- 
balistic meaning of those words, refer only to the 
termination of some certain stage or process in de- 
velopment, literally the achievement of some definite 
end we have had in view, then having reached that 
end we are ready for an entirely new beginning, but 
one that would have been impossible for us had it 
not been for all the disciplinary experience which 
preceded it and led up to it. 

Though our brief and very imperfect description 
of the significance of the 22 Hebrew letters requires 

42 Inner Significance 

many additions to make it in any sense complete, we 
are assured that readers who are also students will 
find even in this bare outline much that is suggestive, 
and if they are fond of making experiments with 
letters on their own account, and also desirous of 
reading words and sentences in the Bible with a 
view to ascertaining something of their Kabbalistic 
or interior significance, by keeping in mind the defi- 
nitions herewith supplied they may find their task 
considerably simplified. 

As every letter has its numerical value we close 
this essay by appending the number belonging to 
each letter : Aleph, i "';• Beth, 2 ; Gimel, 3 ; Daleth, 4 ; 
He, 5 ; Van, 6 ; Zayin, 7 ; Heth, 8 ; Teth, 9 ; Yod, 10 ; 
Kaph, 20 ; Lamed, 30 ; Mem, 40 ; Nun, 50 ; Samech, 
60; Ayin, 70; Pe, 80; Tzaddi, 90; Qoph, 100; Resh, 
200; Tau, 400. The relatively large numbers be- 
tween 400 and 1000 are expressed as follows: Final 
Qoph, 500 ; Final Mem, 600 ; Final Nun, 700 ; Final 
Pe, 800; Final Zaddi, 900. 

Thousands are denoted by letters of a size larger 
than that employed to signify the smaller numbers. 
A large Aleph stands for 1000. 

We notice how invariably in Hebrew literature 
thousands and tens of thousands are mentioned but 
only multiples of 10 are employed to convey the idea 
of large numbers beyond a single thousand. 



The Book of Concealed Mystery opens with 
the declaration that it is the book of the equilibrium 
of balance. Equilibrium, a fundamental term in all 
Kabbalistic writings, signifies harmony which re- 
sults from the analogy of contraries, the serene cen- 
tre at which, in consequence c ; opposing forces be- 
ing equal in strength, rest succeeds motion. Equi- 
librium suggests an idea similar to that of Nirvana, 
a term which when intelligently employed conveys 
the thought of imperturbable repose, a state impos- 
sible for us to fully comprehend on earth because 
we are in the midst of perpetual tumult and continu- 
ally subject to the conflicting sway of pairs of oppo- 
sites. In works on ancient symbolism we often en- 
counter the phrase, ' 'Point within the circle/' by 
which is intended a situation of such unalloyable 
serenity that though the fiercest strife be raging all 
around, at that point, which may be the centre of a 
terrific hurricane or a tremendous scorching flame, 
complete immunity from turbulence and danger 
would be, of necessity, enjoyed. The 91st psalm 


44 Book of Concealed Mystery 

gives the clearest idea of this condition expressible 
in readily comprehended language, and to the Kab- 
balist the entire Psalter, consisting of 150 psalms, 
possesses not only an interior meaning but also a 
talismanic value, in consequence of which different 
psalms have been recited frequently in times of ex- 
treme difficulty and unusual danger for the purpose 
of delivering those who recited them piously and 
understanding^ from all sorts of perils, seen and 
unseen alike. The real meaning of "taking refuge 
under the shadow of the Almighty/' and being safe 
under the shelter of divine "wings/' is only readily 
comprehensible when we take into account the Her- 
metic teaching of ancient Egypt, reaffirmed in 
Europe by Emanuel Swedenborg (18th century) 
in his descriptions of Maximus Homo (the Greatest 
Man) and the respective positions of different com- 
panies of angels in the celestial anatomy. All Her- 
metic students, and all who are versed in Sweden- 
borg, know how plainly it is stated that companies 
of angels exactly correspond with distinctive por- 
tions of the human frame, so that such expressions 
as "the hand of the Lord," and all of similar char- 
acter, are taken literally as well as figuratively. This 
objective view of angelic ministries is by no means 
discordant with much of the best modern thought; 
indeed it agrees perfectly with the teaching of that 
long-famous English naturalist, Alfred Russel 

Book of Concealed Mystery 45 

Wallace, who sets forth conceptions of this nature 
graphically in one of his latest books, "The World 
of Life," wherein he confesses to complete faith in 
the real existence and constant operation of those 
many graded orders of angels who are variously 
designated by varying schools of Occultists, but in 
all cases bear a striking relationship to the Sephiroth 
of the Kabbalah and the Demiurgos of the Gnostics. 
Certain Jews contend that the Sephiroth are only 
different aspects and attributes of Deity, while others 
who cling quite as tenaciously to fundamental mono- 
theism, find ample space for the ministry of com- 
panies of angels, regarded as servants of the One 
Most High. Even a superficial reading of the ac- 
cepted orthodox Jewish liturgy, in use all over the 
British Empire as well as in many parts of America 
and elsewhere, must convince every reader that, un- 
less words are intended to convey no obvious mean- 
ing whatsoever, the faith of Israel includes an ac- 
knowledgment of many sharply differentiated hosts 
of beings who with love and reverence carry out, as 
messenger spirits, the Will olf the sdle Creator. 
Cherubim, Seraphim, Ophanim, and several other 
angelic orders are mentioned by name in the ordi- 
nary daily prayers, and much more elaborately are 
they alluded to in the much longer and more com- 
plex liturgies appointed for New Year and Day of 

46 Book of Concealed Mystery 

In the Book of Concealed Mystery a vital line is 
drawn between positive and negative existence. A 
definition of positive existence is not difficult, be- 
cause it necessarily takes action into account, but to 
define negative existence appears impossible, because 
directly we attempt definitions we seem compelled to 
employ a more or less positive terminology. The 
term Ain Soph, w T hich may be translated as the 
primal fount whence all manifest existence pro- 
ceeds, is revealed as Ain Soph Aur, illimitable Light; 
but of this we can form only a dim conception. It 
is interesting to note how this concept is set forth 
alike in the first chapters of Genesis in the Penta- 
teuch, and in the first chapter of the 4th gospel in 
the New Testament. In the first instance God 
speaks, or breathes forth, and light appears. In the 
second instance the essential doctrine of the Logos 
is fundamentally the same. Students of Plato w T ill 
readily call to mind how similar was the teaching 
of that illustrious Greek to the inner teaching of 
Egyptians and Hebrews contemporary and before 
his day, and all who have taken delight in the won- 
derful breadth of doctrine manifested by Philo of 
Alexandria will follow without difficulty a path of 
unified philosophizing along which Jews and Gen- 
tiles can walk arm in arm, each contributing a glor- 
ious share to a gradually evolving doctrine which 
can serve to unite Hebraism with Hellenism without 

Book of Concealed Mystery 47 

calling upon either Greek or Jew to surrender aught 
that is vital in his own distinctive view of the never 
fully comprehended Universe. 

The Jewish Kabbalah properly expresses universal 
thought in Jewish phraseology, while the Greek em- 
ploys his own language and symbolism in an equally 
intelligent and conscientious attempt to interpret the 
riddle of existence. The Greek love of beauty and 
the Hebrew passion for a rigid moral law are well 
, known to be sharp points of distinction between the 
typical Greek and the typical Hebrew mental ten> 
perament. Philosophers of renown can easily teach 
and thrive in both camps, but the general color or 
tint of their philosophy is sure to differ in accord- 
ance with the natural bent of the philosophers. 
Though we all employ the word Universe with great 
frequency, such words as Pluriverse and Multiverse 
are by no means absent from modern philosophic 
literature, and we often encounter the appellation 
Pluralist given to a philosopher whose school of 
thought is sometimes designated Pragmatism, as 
in the well-known case of Professor William James, 
for many years professor of psychology at Harvard 
University, the American Cambridge. If contro- 
versialists would seek to remove needless obstacles 
out of the path of philosophical enquiry, instead of 
creating fresh difficulties, as they usually do in their 
foolish attempts to show how very widely one school 

48 Book °f Concealed Mystery 

of thinkers differs from another, it would not be very- 
long before we could attain to something like a state 
of mental harmony in which we could cordially 
shake hands with each other intellectually and mor- 
ally, instead of indulging in worse than useless 
wrangling. To take the attitude of a true Kab- 
balist one must be intentionally bent on unifying, 
never on separating, therefore acrimonious dispu- 
tations are utterly foreign to the Kabbalistic temper, 
though they abound in works of commentary into 
which no esoteric spirit has entered. No words are 
practically readier of verification than "the letter 
killeth, but the spirit giveth life," for such is the case 
in every possible realm of human thought and con- 
duct. Capital punishment, and every other form of 
barbaric retaliation, is advocated and casuistically 
justified by professed upholders of a strict moral 
law, supposedly of divine origin, but no esotericist 
ever allows the righteousness of any act which does 
not possess and manifest the attribute of clemency, 
though that mild quality may sometimes be neces- 
sarily associated with the very dissimilar attribute of 
severity. To be clement and severe at the same in- 
stant seems to the superficial reasoner almost an im- 
possibility, but that is only because the average in- 
tellect has not grasped the real distinction which ever 
exists between legitimate pairs of opposites and ille- 
gitimate contradictories. Clemency and severity are 

Book of Concealed Mystery 49 

opposites, but love and hate are contradictories. 
"Whom the Lord loveth he chasten eth" is altogether 
intelligible if we understand by chastening purify- 
ing; but if we introduce a totally foreign idea and 
suppose that chastening acts are performed venge- 
fully, and that the inflictor of pain actually delights 
in causing suffering because he obtains pleasure from 
making his victims endure agony, we have intro- 
duced a fiendish element into our misconception of 
the right uses of chastisement to such an extent as 
not only to becloud but to completely subvert its 
original intent and meaning. 

It is true, as Macgregor Mathers and other com- 
mentators have declared, that Kabbalists are utterly 
and relentlessly opposed to all that they consider to 
even border upon idolatry, but idolatry is a word 
often used where it is but little understood. An idol, 
in the objectionable sense, was originally a material 
object supposed to be endowed with miraculous 
power, set up as a substitute for a spiritual concep- 
tion of Deity and worshipped as though it pos- 
sessed within itself all the attributes of Deity. This 
is not saying that the statues and images of many 
ancient peoples were always idols in that sense, for 
idolatrous practices were gradually introduced when 
a nation's life was deteriorating and the people were 
drifting further and ever further away from primi- 
tive spiritual concepts. Ancient emblems remained 

50 Book of Concealed Mystery 

long after their original significance had been lost. 
It is practically certain that in days long past when 
Hebrew prophets vigorously condemned idolatrous 
practices, the images ultimately worshipped had been 
originally no more than reminders of great heroes 
and heroines, and therefore quite as permissible as 
modern statuary erected to commemorate heroic men 
and women, and to suggest an imitation of all that 
was particularly exemplary in their noble lives. 
There is always a danger in aught that borders upon 
idolatrous practice, because the tendency to substi- 
tute the carnal for the spiritual is strong almost 
everywhere, though not confined by any means to 
those who set up graven images and bow adoringly 
before them. 

Bibliolatry carried to an extreme is idolatrous, 
because it fastens attention so powerfully and ex- 
clusively upon the letter of some venerated text as 
to leave no room for any recognition of interior 
illumination. A Bible can be either a help or a 
hindrance by reason of the manner in which one 
approaches its contents. The Kabbalist is by no 
means a bibliolater if he clings to genuine Kabbal- 
ism and respects the continuous oral tradition, for 
the 70 Elders who constitute an ever-living San- 
hedrin are men of exceptionally high spiritual at- 
tainments and spotless life, through whom revela- 
tion is always being outpoured. A merely historic 

Book of Concealed Mystery 51 

Kabbalism cannot have the power to exert the benefi- 
cent influence exertable by a vital Kabbalism, be- 
cause the former refers everything to memories of 
some holier and happier age gone by, while the latter 
acknowledeges an ever-flowing stream of inspira- 
tion from a perennial fount which never can run dry. 
The form of idolatry especially abhorrent to the vital 
Kabbalist is that tendency toward living in memory 
only which is the chief blight over a large section of 
the religious world to-day, and it is indeed impos- 
sible to become deeply imbued with the original Kab- 
balistic spirit without totally disowning a mode of 
thought which excludes the very essentials of pure 
Kabbalism. It is easy enough for literalists and 
historians to say that with the final destruction of 
the third Temple in Jerusalem the Sanhedrin ceased 
to exist, and that with the cessation of animal sac- 
rifices a new order was instituted; but there is no 
logical connection between the overthrow of a literal 
material pile, and the abolition of a ceremonial 
slaughtering of animals, with any sort of with- 
drawal of interior illumination from humanity; in- 
deed it would be far easier and much more logical to 
contend that the overthrow of a literal structure and 
the discontinuance of grossly physical ceremonies 
marked the beginning of a period in which the Kab- 
balistic idea could shine forth with a glorious reful- 
gence hitherto unknown. Concealed mystery is yet 

52 Book of Concealed Mystery 

to be revealed. Nothing* hidden is always to remain 
secret, secrecy being only a transitory requisite for 
growth. We find innumerable parallels in the work- 
ings of nature universally. Gestative, germinative 
and incubatory processes must be carried on in secret, 
but a moment arrives when revelation occurs and 
secrecy is ended. All gems and precious metals are 
concealed in the earth until they are excavated; in 
like manner important truths are veiled from gen- 
eral outward view while they are developing in the 
inner consciousness of humanity, but at length they 
burst forth like butterflies from chrysalids, or as 
young birds break through their egg shells, or as 
children are born into outward existence after secre- 
tion in the matrix. Though the thought of limiting 
God in any manner is intensely repugnant to the 
genuine Kabbalist, he is by no means averse to em- 
ploying the Human Form as a means of portraying 
his idea of divine revelation. The opening chapter 
of Genesis declares man to be theomorphic (in the 
image of God), therefore a human idea of Deity 
is not fallacious because it is anthropomorphic (in 
our human likeness), though all limited concepts 
must be inadequate. Our ideas are necessarily lim- 
ited and also growthf ul, for if our consciousness ex- 
pands our ideas must correspondingly enlarge. 
Nothing, therefore, can well be more idiotic than to 
denounce anthropomorphic views of Deity as false 

Book of Concealed Mystery 53 

because they are perforce inadequate to express all 
that the Divine Reality must be. The hieroglyphical 
figure of the Kabbalah represents various concord- 
ing attributes of Deity as though God possesses an 
actual beard (to select only one curious example) 
consisting of hairs millions of miles in length. This 
is of course correspondential metaphor and refers, 
in one sense, to the position and work of a certain 
host of angels who are in the province of the Beard 
in Maximus Homo. In like manner offices are 
definitively assigned to various other companies of 
angels, and all is picturesquely outwrought as a 
work of symbolic art intensely fascinating and 
worthy of profound study and reverent considera- 
tion. The Kabbalah distinctly states that it is not 
given to humanity to know what God essentially is. 
The transcendental and immanent ideas of Deity, 
often sharply contrasted in theological controversy, 
find their meeting place in the Kabbalah in such 
expressions as the following: God is in all, distinct 
from all, greater than all. The Divine Name is 
ineffable, yet this name expresses only the human 
ideal of Divinity. In such statements as the fore- 
going we find an actual blending of Gnostic with 
Agnostic thought, and though it is generally sup- 
posed that between Gnosticism and Agnosticism 
there can be no intellectual fellowship, this seeming 
irreconcilability is only superficially apparent. 

54 Book °f Concealed Mystery 

Gnostics claim an interior revelation enabling them 
to know all necessary truth, but as they claim pro- 
gression in knowledge through incessant additional 
illumination, they utterly repudiate the notion that 
anyone can possibly know all there is to be known. 
Gnostics never use the word Unknowable, but Un- 
known is a term to which no reasonable exception 
can ever be taken by claimants to even the largest 
possible share of knowledge yet possessed by the 
most illumined members of the human family. 
"You have an unction from the Holy One and you 
know all things," is a New Testament statement 
attributed to the Apostle Paul which sounds ridic- 
ulously bombastic until it has been subjected to 
rational examination, when it immediately loses all 
absurd pretentiousness, for "all things" signify only 
those things with which we are called upon to deal, 
and it is surely possible in a world of limited dimen- 
sions for some individuals to arrive at a perfect 
knowledge of the uses and values of all the things 
they are obliged to handle in the fulfillment of their 
actual obligations. All things are brought to the 
Adam man in his primitive estate "to see what he 
will call them," and Adam gives names to every- 
thing, but it is rightly inferred that he does not 
always name things correctly. In the limitless fields 
of Nature every object has its proper name and defi- 
nite use, and it is declared by Kabbalists that when- 

Book of Concealed Mystery 55 

ever the right name is given to any creature it is 
compelled to answer to its rightful name, but if the 
name be miscalled or in any way mispronounced no 
certain results are obtainable. To call upon the 
Name of the Lord is regarded as the highest act 
of sublime magic, and by magic is rightly meant 
the Great Work, knowledge of how to perform 
which constitutes a man a Magus. It is deemed 
possible for unscrupulous persons to become "Black 
Magicians" through knowledge of certain magical 
secrets, but their power is always limited and can at 
any time be taken from them, because they are not 
in alliance with celestial hierarchies and cannot re- 
ceive support from the Masters of Wisdom, while 
the pow r er of the "White Magician" is illimitable 
because he is in accord with innumerable hosts of 
light and the power of good to vanquish evil is in- 
finite, while the force of evil is in reality unreal. 

The Kabbalah draws a clear distinction between 
knowing and believing and clearly shows how a be- 
liever may have no power to accomplish wonders 
because he only believes that they are accomplish- 
able but is unacquainted with the means whereby 
they may be wrought. 

The oft-quoted words from the Christian gospels, 
"All things are possible to him that believeth," are 
somewhat misleading, because they are a mistrans- 
lation of the original and not in accord with the 

56 Book °f Concealed Mystery 

true significance of the mighty declaration, "With 
God all things are possible." When a human being 
is so well versed in a knowledge of unchanging law 
or inflexible order as to be able to set the law in 
motion, he can work "miracles," for a miracle prop- 
erly means any occurrence which excites general 
wonder because the majority of people know noth- 
ing of the law which makes the occurrence possible. 
The stupid prattle of old-fashioned Materialists 
against miracles is nothing but puerile nonsense, be- 
cause the whole of their argument and deduction 
from an established premise amounts to a complete 
non sequitur. The traditional materialistic hypothe- 
sis is that because the order of Nature is presumably 
unalterable therefore events commonly called mirac- 
ulous cannot occur, because their occurrence would 
necessitate the suspension of a law which can never 
be abrogated. Were we in possession of complete 
knowledge of law, and of all that is possible through 
its working agency, we might be able to sustain 
such a hypothesis, but nothing is more self-evident 
than that our knowledge of law is very limited and 
subject to continual increase. It is also true that 
what we now think to be the law may not be so in 
reality, for we often walk and speculate in a very 
dim light and we frequently leap to immature con- 
clusions which soon after we are compelled to mod- 
ify greatly. True Kabbalists are a wise and wary 

Book of Concealed Mystery 57 

people, for while they have much to say concerning 
wonderful results following upon the utterance of 
mysterious combinations of letters which have been 
ingeniously fashioned into- awe-inspiring words, they 
are careful never to assume a complete knowledge 
of how far results may be carried by those whose 
knowledge is greater than their own. The famous 
tradition of a. "Lost Word" in Masonry is in exact 
accord with the teachings of Kabbalah. Tradition 
has it that there were originally 3 Grand Masters, 
and only when these 3 were together could the Mas- 
ter's Word be uttered, for it took all 3 to speak 
it, because only one syllable could be uttered by any 
one of the 3 Masters. When one of them was 
slain the word could not be pronounced by the re- 
maining 2, because only 2 syllables could then be 
uttered. Many foolish inferences have been drawn 
from this legend, the silliest of all being that the 2 
remaining Masters after the slaying of one, only 
knew two-thirds of the sacred word and therefore 
could not pronounce it in its entirety; for it stands 
to reason that if it were spoken in its fullness when- 
ever the 3 had been together that all alike must 
have heard the 3 syllables though a single voice 
uttered only one of them. A much better interpre 
tation is that it took the combined presence and 
united influence of the 3 to generate the mighty 
mystic force necessary to accomplish an august re- 

58 Book of Concealed Mystery 

suit. This we can understand, for a chord in music 
must consist of 3 notes, and unless the necessary 3 
are struck together the perfect vibration cannot be 

Students of the mystery and meaning of num- 
bers declare that there is a reference to this ancient 
tradition in the words of the Master of Christendom 
when he declares that if 2 or 3 disciples are gathered 
together in his name he will be truly in the midst 
of them. Every student of the gospels who is inter- 
ested in their mention of particular numbers must 
also have been impressed with such statements as 
"if 2 of you shall agree as touching anything it 
shall be done," and the account of sending out dis- 
ciples 2 by 2, not one by one. The number 2 holds 
high place in the Kabbalah and it stands for the 
original Cross, the anatomical figure displaying sym- 
metry. All anatomists and sculptors know that a 
perfectly formed human body is truly cruciform, the 
width from the point of one middle finger to the 
point of the other, when both are widely extended, 
being precisely the same as the height of the body 
from the crown of the head to the ball of either of 
the heels. Masculinity and femininity are here com- 
pletely expressed in the form of perfect duality. 
Perpendicular and Horizontal beams of a true Cross 
must be exactly equal. "Taking up the cross" and 
winning victories in this sign become scientifically 

Book of Concealed Mystery 59 

and philosophically intelligible expressions in the 
light of this contemplation, whereas the ordinary 
identification of the cross with literal physical cruci- 
fixion is entirely foreign to the spirit of all esoteric 
teaching. So many different, though by no means 
discordant, meanings are attached to various num- 
bers in the Kabbalah that it is somewhat difficult 
to pronounce with certainty concerning the exact 
value attachable to each numeral in turn, but no un- 
certainty prevails as to the dignity of 10 and its 
multiples, for the 10 Sephiroth are always enumer- 
ated and we all know that 10 includes the 9 numerals 
and the circle. The number 1 is representative of 
primum mobile, the commencement of whirling 

Under the general heading of the Macroprosopus 
(Vast Countenance) Kabbalists are accustomed to 
place the White Head denoting the Ancient of 
Days, also K ether (the Crown) and Eheieh (Ex- 
istence). Ain Soph, the Supreme Being, is never 
represented by the single stroke we use to denote 
the smallest of our numerals, but if any emblem is 
introduced it is invariably the circle. The Universe 
is supported by 3 Pillars, Justice, Mildness, 
Mercy. From the Macroprosopus proceed, as from 
an inscrutable height, Chokhmah (Wisdom) and 
Bin ah (Intelligence). These are respectively re- 
garded as Father and Mother Supernal. It is self- 

60 Book of Concealed Mystery 

evident that the Kabbalah places masculinity and 
femininity on precisely the same level, so does the 
first chapter of Genesis both in the original and in 
all translations; and in the second chapter, which 
has so often been erroneously appealed to in at- 
tempted justification of sexual inequality, the mys- 
tical and traditional Eve, pronounced "mother of 
all living,' ' is distinctly described in a metaphor as 
taken from the side of Adam, neither from his head 
or from his foot, to signify her perfect equality 
with him. The second triadation in the Kabbalah, 
called the Lesser Countenance, is composed of 
Chesed (Mercy), Din (Justice) and Tiphereth 
(Beauty). These 3 are described as forming the 
Moral World, the first triadation constituting the 
realm of pure intellectuality. The third triadation, 
constituting the Material World, is composed of 
Netzach (Victory), Hod (Splendor) and Yesod 
(Foundation). The 10th Sephira is Malkhuth (the 
Kingdom). Each Sephira is an emanation from 
Ain Soph, the Limitless One, and is also esteemed 
as a company of closely united celestial intelligences 
who form a compact body, all the members of which 
act in perfect unity. It is easy to see how the 9 
Choirs of Angels enumerated by Catholic theologi- 
ans and alluded to, more or less distinctly, in many 
Christian liturgies, are in vital accord with the 
Sephiroth of the Kabbalah, and it needs no pro- 

Book of Concealed Mystery 61 

found or very wide research to convince any stu- 
dents who have a taste for comparative religion and 
philosophy that only in name are there practical dif- 
ferences in idea and terminology between the vari- 
ous great exponents of the leading religious systems 
of the world. The 10 Sephiroth are sometimes rep- 
resented in 3 pillars, thus : The right-hand pillar of 
Mercy consists of the 2nd, 4th and 7th emanations ; 
the left-hand pillar of Judgment consists of the 3rd, 
5th and 8th emanations ; the middle pillar of Mild- 
ness (or moderation) consists of the 1st, 6th, 9th 
and 10th emanations. In their totality the 10 Sephi- 
roth represent Adam Kadmon, the Protagonos or 
original progenitor of humanity. There are 3 mas- 
culine, 3 feminine, and 4 uniting Sephiroth. The 3 
masculine are on the right side; the 3 feminine on 
the left side and the 4 uniting Sephiroth in the cen- 
tre of the Tree of Life (Otz Chaiim). There is a 
close resemblance in this Tree to the sacred tree, 
Yggdrasil, of Scandinavian mythology. Though 
there are 3 distinct triadations (or 2 trinities and a 
quaternity, according to some authorities) in the 
enumerated Sephiroth, there is only one trinal classi- 
fication which comprises them all, and that consists 
of the Crown, the King and the Queen. The Kab- 
balah offers a reconciliation between Judaism and 
Christianity on a philosophical and mystical basis 
which must have been familiar to many of the Fath- 

62 Book of Concealed Mystery 

ers of the early Christian Church, and it throws 
much light on the paradox of a Trinity in Unity. 
Without attempting to eulogize the whole of the 
so-called Athanasian Creed, one must confess that 
though dogmatically Trinitarian it is very far indeed 
from being Tritheistic, for it reiterantly declares 
"there are not 3 Gods, but one God.'' The original 
form of the Trinity was Father, Mother, and Child, 
and had that original form been adhered to in all 
Christian ecclesiastical art little, if any, exception 
could be taken to it as an endeavor to express our 
best ideas of Divine manifestation to human con- 
sciousness. It is the 2 exclusively male personages, 
one represented as much older than the other, and 
the Dove between them, which has occasioned much 
revolt, because of the total exclusion of the Mother 
principle and the substitution of the emblem of the 
Dove in place thereof. The Son born from the 
Father and the Mother was the ancient Egyptian 
idea as portrayed in Osiris, Isis, and Horus, and the 
Oriental portrayal of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu 
(Preserver), Siva (Transformer), does no violence 
to that primal and universal concept of the 3 ex- 
pressions of absolute Unity which has led to the 
employment of the Triangle as a sacred symbol sec- 
ond in dignity to the Circle only. In Kabbalistic 

Book of Concealed Mystery 63 

language the manifest universe is born from the 
union of the Crowned King and Queen, and before 
the complete form of the Heavenly Man (the 10 
Sephiroth) was produced, primordial worlds were 
created which are referred to in the Hebrew Scrip- 
tures as "Kings of ancient time" and as "Kings of 
Edom." Edom means unbalanced force, while 
Israel signifies the balanced Sephiroth. The fact 
that worlds were formed and destroyed before the 
formation of our present earth is constantly reit- 
erated in the Zohar. 

The Sephiroth are designated a World of Emana- 
tions and an Archetypal World which gives birth 
to 3 other worlds in a descending scale of decreas- 
ing brightness. The second (Briatic) world is an 
immediate emanation from the highest world, 
Olahm Atziloth. This is conceived of as a purely 
spiritual realm without any admixture of what we 
commonly understand by matter. The 3rd World, 
Olahm Ha-Yetzirah, is the abode of angels, some- 
times called incorporeal spirits because their forms 
are not discernible by our physical senses, but to un- 
usually extended human vision they sometimes be- 
come clearly visible, and those who can discern them 
are, for that reason, classed as seers and seeresses. 
The world of action, which we objectively inhabit, 

64 Book of Concealed Mystery 

is called Olahm Ha-Asiah; it is described as made 
up of the grosser elements derived from the other 3. 
Evil spirits in the Kabbalah are sometimes called 
"shells" and they are always referred to as the most 
deficient of all forms expressing intelligence. There 
are 10 orders of dark spirits enumerated which are 
in direct opposition to the Sephiroth. The idea is 
virtually the same as Swedenborg's memorable say- 
ing that heavens and hells stand feet to feet, because 
heavens are in the human form upright and hells are 

Throughout the Kabbalah the number 10 runs 
constantly, so there are 10 of everything mentioned, 
the unholy tens being the exact contradictories of all 
holy existences. 

The Divine Name is composed of only 4 letters, 
Ihvh, but the right pronunciation of this Ineffable 
Name is known but to very few, and to one who 
knows how to speak it rightly it is the means where- 
by the most stupendous feats of sacred magic can 
be accomplished. There is nothing impossible to 
one w T ho can pronounce the sublimest of all names 
correctly, for this great and awe-inspiring Name 
is said to "rush through the Universe" and nothing 
can withstand the force of the tremendous vibration 
excited by the utterer thereof, if he be one who is 

Book of Concealed Mystery 65 

duly qualified to proclaim it. But the mere utter- 
ance of the external sounds, as even a parrot might 
be taught to speak them, is of no avail. Israel 
Zangwill in his story "The Turkish Messiah" dis- 
plays close familiarity with this ancient doctrine 
when he narrates how a man who was supposed to 
be Messiah by his deluded followers, but was actu- 
ally a person of no great spiritual attainments and 
extremely self -conceited, pronounced the mysteri- 
ous word which was said to have power to produce 
tremendous results, but no event of any importance 
followed. The same idea runs through all the ven- 
erated traditions of the Orient concerning the sacred 
syllable Aum, which can be pronounced in a multi- 
tude of w r ays, but only brings forth high magical 
consequences when uttered by one who is far along 
the road to perfect adepthood. This seems entirely 
reasonable, for did some awful power reside in the 
ordinary pronouncing of sacred names the most ter- 
rific consequences would ensue from the flippant 
irreverence which is so very common among 
thoughtless and uncultivated people, that we hardly 
notice the verbal profanations which would perpet- 
ually assail our ears in many neighborhoods if we 
listened to the unthinking and largely unmeaning 
speech of innumerable men, women and children 

66 Book of Concealed Mystery 

who lightly utter words of the deepest spiritual im- 
port, but almost powerlessly for good or ill because 
of the absence of any definite intention or expecta- 
tion in the will or thought of the speakers. To work 
holy or unholy spells one must have cultivated defi- 
nite will and imagination and must act with clear 
purpose aforethought. The key to the working of 
Kabbalah can never be found in knowledge alone, 
though such is valuable. There must be force of 
intention coupled with unshaking confidence in the 
efficacy of words spoken or other means employed, 
otherwise the most elaborate ritual observances will 
prove of no avail. 



Following closely upon dissertations concerning 
the Ineffable Name, the awe-inspiring Tetragram- 
maton, the Kabbalah undertakes to analyze human- 
ity in accordance with the renowned Hermetic 
axiom, "As Above, so Below," and necessarily by 
inverse deduction, "As Below, so Above." The 
mind which can comprehend the plan of the Uni- 
verse is itself a miniature universe; thence is de- 
rived the famous and well-nigh universal doctrine 
of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm. It is in the 
Kabbalah and other esoteric works of great pro- 
fundity and antiquity that we may look, and not in 
vain, for a reconciliation of the various seemingly 
mutually exclusive philosophies which have long 
divided the intellectual world into contentious fac- 
tions. Idealism and Realism ; Spiritualism and Ma- 
terialism ; Transcendentalism and Utilitarianism are 
continually pitted against each other by argumenta- 
tive debaters who are very ready to assume affirma- 


68 Book of Concealed Mystery 

tives and negatives respectively until the average 
seeker for enlightenment through academic channels 
is apt to exclaim, in despair of ever arriving at any 
intelligible solution of the riddle of existence, "a 
plague on both your houses.' ' 

Theosophical literature has rendered much helpful 
service by employing such a compound term as Spirit- 
Matter to designate 2 aspects of the manifestation 
of a Supreme Reality, called by Herbert Spencer 
and other agnostic philosophers of the 19th century 
"the Unknowable." "Infinite and eternal Energy" 
is a good enough term, but as Sir William Thompson 
pointed out in his admirable pamphlet, "The Un- 
known (?) God," published in 1904, a close study 
of nature, and most of all human nature, leads us 
away from the unsatisfactory Monism proclaimed 
by Ernest Haeckel in "The Riddle of the Universe" 
to a much more nearly Theistic position. The note 
of interrogation bracketed between the words "Un- 
known" and "God," in the title of the pamphlet, 
sufficed to express the exact shade of meaning the 
author sought to convey, for he was intending to 
discuss a question fearlessly but not to speak dog- 
matically; and the conclusion at which he arrived 
was the thoroughly sane and sensible one that we 
can know something, and continually learn more and 
more of Deity, but it is clearly impossible that we 
should know everything. Here we find the position 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 69 

of an eminent British scientist of ripe age and wide 
experience in precise accord with the teachings of 
Kabbalah, though with this difference, that Kab- 
balists and Gnostics claim to know already more of 
the Divine than Sir William Thompson claimed to 

The Kabbalistic doctrine of angels above the pres- 
ent human level and unenlightened demons below 
it, is shared by practically all reputable Occultists, 
and is very plainly enunciated by Eliphas Levi in 
his famous work on Magic. There is no real or 
essential power in evil according to this arcane teach- 
ing, though it is admitted, and indeed emphatically 
declared at times, that persons living in the affec- 
tional indulgence of certain malignant vices while 
in the flesh will be tormented in the company of 
demons who correspond with these vices if they pass 
into the state beyond physical dissolution clinging to 
such disorderly affections. Students of Swedenborg 
will find numberless points of agreement with the 
teachings of that noble Swedish philosopher and 
seer as they peruse the somewhat differently worded 
Kabbalah, and they will also find less insistence in 
the Kabbalah on the perpetuity of evil in any section 
of the Universe than most Swedenborgians indulge 
in. But to the esoteric reader Swedenborg has sided 
with the Kabbalists entirely on more than one nota^ 
ble occasion, especially where he has given it forth 

70 Book of Concealed Mystery 

that all the hells are as nothing before the Lord. 
The terminology of the Kabbalah is in many places 
almost identical with that of the prophetical books 
of Daniel and Ezekiel and with the New Testament 
Apocalypse. "Beast," "Harlot," and many other 
symbolical terms employed in Revelations, are used 
in obviously the same senses in the Kabbalah. Satan 
is Samael, the angel of poison and death; his wife 
is the great Harlot. All things infernal are inver- 
sions and caricatures of powers celestial, and all hells 
are in exact opposition to heavens. It greatly sim- 
plifies much that would otherwise appear fantastic, 
and well-nigh unintelligible, to reflect upon the posi- 
tively universal agreement of all schools of teachers 
upon the word disorder as the equivalent of disease. 
Now if disease and disorder are the same, then order 
must be the equivalent of health on all planes and 
in all degrees of manifest existence. 

The name Adonai, pronounced so frequently in all 
Jewish services, is almost always substituted for the 
unpronounced name of greatly superior excellence. 
This practise originated among devout Israelites to 
avoid all profanation of the most sacred and awe- 
inspiring of names, for it has been continually stated 
that when profane utterances are allowed discordant 
and dangerous results may follow; there is, there- 
fore, excellent reason from all magical and mystical 
standpoints for effectually guarding against pro- 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 71 

fanity, though probably a merely thoughtless pro- 
nunciation of any sacred word is too nearly power- 
less in any case to be a matter of much consequence. 
The very extreme saying that whosoever rightly 
pronounces the Ineffable Name causes Heaven and 
Earth to tremble, is not to be lightly dismissed in 
these days in view of the vast amount of added 
knowledge now becoming general concerning vibra- 
tion. We can only keep open minds and maintain 
non-committal attitudes toward many mysteries, un- 
less we are among the small number of a specially 
enlightened few who are knowing to secrets which 
are ordinarily unknown. 

The statement that the Ineffable Name is capable 
of 12 transpositions, each specially effective in some 
special sphere, immediately suggests the 12 Signs 
of the Zodiac and the 12 major sections of human 
anatomy, as well as the 12 Tribes of Israel. There 
is no doubt a much nearer relationship between the 
Hebrew word Adonai and the Greek Adonis than 
most Jews would be willing to admit, because of the 
wide mental separation which existed for many cen- 
turies between Hebraism and Hellenism, but in the 
light of modern discoveries, and in view of our mod- 
ern search for a common religious and philological 
denominator, we can see many instances among pro- 
gressive and liberal-minded Jews of an increasing 
approach toward the position taken many centuries 

72 Book of Concealed Mystery 

ago by Philo of Alexandria, who saw no reason why- 
Judaism and Hellenism should be regarded as an- 
tagonistic or mutually exclusive. The great value 
of Kabbalistical researches is that they encourage 
students to look below surface differences to find 
radical agreements, and we need no teaching quite 
so much to-day as that which differentiates logically 
and practically between righteous differences and 
scandalous disagreements. God is One, but gods are 
many. Man is One, but men are many. All ancient 
religious and philosophical systems, at their best 
and highest, made this distinction so unmistakably 
clear that we could hardly account for its subsequent 
obscuration if we did not know something of the 
fierce wars which one nation, for long periods often, 
waged against another, and in the thick of conflict 
the gods of one people were considered devils by 
another. The outward letter of the Old Testament 
is as warlike in many places as the external aspect 
of the Bhagavad Gita or any other Hindu Scripture, 
and no more so. The chief advantage of a study of 
Kabbalah is that it turns our thoughts inward in- 
stead of outward, and suggests to us an allegorical, 
and even a precisely correspondential method of in- 
terpreting all Sacred Books, somewhat after the 
manner of Swedenborg's Arcana Ccelestia, which 
agrees with the Rabbalah in many important par- 
ticulars. We must always remember when reading 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 73 

Swedenborg that he declared that the doctrine of 
correspondences was widely known more than 4,000 
years before his day. 

When the doctrine of evolution startled the mod- 
ern European world, about 1859, when Darwin's 
"Origin of Species" came into prominence, nearly 
all other religious denominations were greatly dis- 
turbed by statements made regarding the immense 
age of our planet and the probability that human life 
had existed here for hundreds of thousands of years, 
but prominent ministers of the New Jerusalem 
Church were very complacent and industriously 
availed themselves of the opportunity to advance 
their own doctrines in such a manner as to show that 
though Swedenborgians regard the Pentateuch as 
divinely inspired, it contains (as do other sacred 
documents also) 3 distinct senses respectively demon- 
inated Celestial, Spiritual, Natural, the last of these 
3 being only a veil over the face of the Torah, as 
mentioned in Exodus where we are told that Moses 
after descending from the summit of Sinai was com- 
pelled to veil his face because the Children of Israel 
could not bear to gaze upon its uncovered luminous 
splendor. In the light of what we are learning to- 
day about brilliant human auras surrounding excep- 
tionally holy and enlightened persons, we can accegt 
a great amount of such a story even literally; but 
in a much deeper sense do Kabbalists lay it before 

74 Book of Concealed Mystery 

us. The New Testament speaks of the veil of the 
Temple being rent in twain by an earthquake when 
a Master exclaimed, "It is consummated/' and while 
there is no improbability in such an event actually 
occurring, all Gnostic exponents of the Christian 
Gospels maintain that only as we grasp an esoteric 
significance can we derive spiritual enlightenment 
from a perusal and study of the narrative. It is not 
possible in these days to induce educated people 
to believe that the book of Genesis gives a literally 
accurate account of the antiquity of the human race ; 
but it is possible to be truly scientific and at the same 
time earnestly seek to penetrate the glyph and dis- 
cover the sublime arcane teaching which reposes be- 
hind the outer veil of all venerated Scriptures. 
Moses Maimonides, who flourished in Europe dur- 
ing the 1 2th century of the present era, when draw- 
ing up his famous 13 propositions which constitute 
what is often called the Creed of Israel, says that 
Moses, the greatest of Israel's prophets, beheld the 
divine similitude. No man can see God as one sees 
a fellow human being and continue to live on earth. 
"No man hath seen God at any time" is a text 
frequently quoted, but beholding the "divine simili- 
tude," in the Mosaic sense, is only discovering the 
true nature of humanity and realizing the force of 
the mighty declaration that Humankind is in the 
Divine Image spiritually. It is only through human 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 75 

nature that human beings can apprehend divine na- 
ture, therefore the anthropologist who penetrates 
deeply into his exhaustless task becomes, perforce, 
a true theosophist. The great point of difference 
between Kabbalistic teaching and orthodox Chris- 
tian teaching is that the former is far more inclu- 
sive than the latter. Orthodox Christians dogmati- 
cally affirm that once only has a human form ap- 
peared on earth truly expressing Divinity. Kab- 
balists attempt to uphold no such restrictive doctrine, 
but content themselves with insisting upon the divine 
origin and essentially divine nature of all humanity, 
a theory which is at present brought very prom- 
inently forward in many circles without much regard 
to particular denominational affiliations. The chief 
stumbling blocks in the path of theological students 
who may be properly open-minded, and also tem- 
peramentally rationalistic, are placed there not so 
much by sceptics or agnostics as by theological pro- 
fessors who, while seeming to advocate so much 
more religious truth than the students can assimi- 
late, are in reality excluding much that those intelli- 
gent and honest-minded young persons could readily 
comprehend were it placed intelligibly and attrac- 
tively before them. What is known as New Theol- 
ogy, as well as what goes by the name of New 
Thought, aims at a greater inclusiveness than ortho- 
dox schools of religion and philosophy have toler- 

76 Book of Concealed Mystery 

ated, and the same remark holds true with reference 
to Eclecticism in the field of Therapeutics. It is 
what schoolmen have sought to cramp and confine 
that is now demanding illimitable liberty, and while 
sheer denial, or at best hopeless agnosticism, is 
widely prevalent even yet in some places (though 
not nearly so much so as toward the end of the last 
century), nothing is more evident than the spiritual- 
izing tendency of the uppermost modern thought in 
scientific, equally with religious, circles. We now 
ask the straightforward question: Has the Kab- 
balah a message for to-day as a helper in the closely 
allied fields of theological and anthropological dis- 
cussion? Perhaps it is only safe to say that it has 
a very satisfactory message for certain types of 
mind and none whatever for other types, but be this 
as it may, there is a message in the Kabbalah con- 
cerning universal human nature which is in complete 
accord with the highest and most practical views now 
entertained by many unusually deep thinkers who 
are also successful reformers and genuine educators. 
There are doubtless numerous young men who 
would like to enter a religious ministry, and work 
actively therein, did they feel that they could con- 
scientiously subscribe to tenets which they only 
doubt, and as they rightfully feel that we should 
preach not our doubts but our convictions, they re- 
main outside the ministry, and many churches com- 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 77 

plain of a paucity of satisfactory ministerial candi- 
dates. In view of the constantly increasing enquiry 
into all things mysterious, much help can be ren- 
dered to honest truthseekers by presenting them with 
a view of life which renders it possible to call noth- 
ing impossible unless it can be proved a mathemati- 
cal absurdity. W. K. Chesterton, whose play Magic 
soon proved popular, boldly proclaims his belief in 
miracles in the old-fashioned supernaturalistic em- 
ployment of the term. This famous essayist was 
confronted on the boards of the London theatre 
where his play was having a good run with flat 
denials of his position when he invited open dis- 
cussion during the afternoon of January 19, 19 14. 
That interesting discussion, widely reported in the 
leading papers of the following day, brought out 
sharply the need of a reasonable 3rd position, and 
every logician knows that 3 positions have to be 
taken into account in every logically sustainable 
argument. The Kabbalistic view, though ancient 
is also extremely modern, for it actually amounts 
to maintaining that all sorts of unexplained phenom- 
ena really take place, but the so-called miraculous is 
such in name only, because the immutable order of 
the Universe is never disturbed, and all mysterious 
happenings are, therefore, as rightly attributable to 
the* operation of unchanging law as are the erratic 
movements of a comet whose eccentric orbit can be 

78 Book of Concealed Mystery 

accurately calculated by sufficiently proficient astron- 
omers. According to the unmistakable inferences of 
the Kabbalah we can all attain to as much control 
over outside influences as any Mental Scientist pro- 
claims we can ; but we must grow steadily until we 
reach the heights. The 3 continually mentioned 
Hebrew w r ords, Nephesh, Ruach, Neshamah, must 
be logically comprehended before we can understand 
the Kabbalistic view of the so-called Fall of Man. 
Nephesh is the animating principle of all vitalized 
existences; Ruach is found in humanity, but does 
not abide or inhere in any sub-human entities; 
Neshamah is sometimes called "the candle of the 
Lord," while Ruach ha Kodesh is a Hebrew title 
for the divine indwelling which Christians term the 
Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. The 3rd chapter of the 
4th Gospel, which contains the narrative of Nico- 
demus, a member of the Sanhedrin, applying to 
Jesus for information concerning regeneration, is 
readily understood in the light of Kabbalah which 
places water in a position inferior to that occupied 
by air and fire ; and throughout the New Testament 
we find the same general symbology adhered to. 
Baptism by water is preparatory to baptism by the 
Holy Breath and Fire. Wind (not water) is a 
symbol of this same Divine Emanation which, ac- 
cording to the 14th chapter of the 4th Gospel, has 
been with but shall be in the true disciples of an 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 79 

exalted Master. The name Moshe (Moses) means 
drawn up out of water, and mystically designates 
one who has been raised, through adequate initiation 
into the everlasting mysteries pertaining to regen- 
eration, above the common intellectual plane to a 
plateau of spiritual discernment where hitherto un- 
known spiritual realities become clearly known, and 
where latent powers long dormant are quickened to 
conscious and operative activity. It is the Mosaic 
type of human being (not simply one man who lived 
long ago in Egypt), who experiences the glorious 
interview with Deity in a mystical manner through 
the agency of the Burning Bush at Horeb, for that 
"bush" is a symbol of human nature at all times and 
everywhere ; ( but there are few who turn aside, as 
does Moses, to behold a great sight which though 
always observable is but seldom observed.) 

As the Greek word anthropos means an upward- 
gazer, it is only the spiritualizing or regenerating 
man who enjoys any appreciable degree of spiritual 
insight, consequently those who live only carnal lives 
do not see (or discern) the Kingdom of God. What 
a sublime contrast the Kabbalah offers to the pitiful 
theology which prates exoterically of baptismal re- 
generation and knows nothing of the esoteric splen- 
dor concealed within the mighty words so glibly 
used. It was not irreverence but reverence which 
caused Ralph Waldo Emerson to righteously hold 

80 Book of Concealed Mystery 

up to scorn the detestable notion that the eternal 
salvation of a human soul could depend upon any 
sacerdotal rite. A priest might be delayed by any 
one of a hundred petty incidents from arriving in 
time to literally baptize either an infant or an adult 
who might be physically dying, and we ask the 
sacerdotalists of to-day with all sincerity if there la 
one among them who really believes that Limbo in- 
stead of Paradise is to be the eternal portion of any 
member of the human race because some priest 
failed to perform an act of ceremonial magic upon 
the outward body of some fellow human being? 
No wonder the doctrines of the churches are widely 
discredited if such hideous travesties of truth are 
brayed into the ears of men and women honestly 
desiring to find the path that leads to heavenly fe- 
licity. But while the cruel puerilities of blind theo- 
logians can only excite our pity and our scorn we 
ought not therefore to blatantly exclaim that the 
venerable and long venerated Scriptures of the 
world are worthless and misleading; rather let us 
look below the obvious surface of any or all of them, 
and seek until we find the gems of truth that lie im- 
bedded in their inner meanings like gold concealed, 
until some miner discovers and excavates it, deep 
in the secret chambers of the earth. We none of us 
can fully know all that is implied in the majestic 
declaration that we are in the Divine Image. On 

Humanity, Spiritual and Physical 81 

our merely earthly side we can wailingly cry out, 
"What is man, the child of dust; what is man, O 
Lord?" ; but on the other side of our nature we can 
exult with the author of the 8th psalm who declares, 
in the original, that humanity is but little lower than 
Elohim and is crowned with honor and glory. The 
Kabbalah assigns to humanity a vice-regal throne 
and far from considering ourselves as prostrate 
worms we are invited to contemplate ourselves as, 
at the least, potential eagles whose soaring possi- 
bilities are immeasurably greater than our best 
feeble language can describe. 



The Kabbalah lays great stress upon the number 
10 as the all-expressing numeral and without some 
understanding of the honorable place it occupies in 
Kabbalistic literature it would be impossible to grasp 
the general idea of the Universe at all clearly from 
the Kabbalistic viewpoint. There are 10 Sephiroth, 
10 Divine Names, 10 Archangels, 10 Orders of 
Angels, and 10 Orders of Demons. The 10 names 
of Deity are intended to convey the idea of 10 dis- 
tinct attributes of Deity and 10 distinct modes of 
divine operation. This consideration throws much 
light on the use of the plural in various translations 
of the Hebrew Pentateuch. Elohim is in its forma- 
tion a plural word, and "Let us make man in our 
image and after our likeness" is a familiar quota- 
tion from the opening chapter of Genesis. The 
Kabbalah reveals that this seeming plurality of di- 
vine personages in no way contradicts the rigidly 
monotheistic faith of Israel but conveys only an 



idea of the united action of the various attributes of 
Deity, and also (possibly) the agencies employed 
by the Divine One in accomplishing the work of 
creation. It is said that the attribute of Mercy is 
called into requisition in the creative act, while it is 
the attribute of Justice which preserves the created 
Universe; and furthermore is it declared that the 
various orders of Celestial Intelligences are contin- 
ually employed in executing the will and plans of 
the Creator. The number 4 is also greatly honored 
in the Kabbalah, and we read much concerning the 
4 Worlds which are respectively designated Atziloth 
( Archetypal), Briah (Creative), Yetzirah (Forma- 
tive), Asiah (Material). Much also is made of the 
number 2, especially as regards Macroprosopus, the 
Great Countenance, and Microprosopus, the Lesser 
Countenance. As the unit is necessarily the greatest 
and the least, — for there can be nothing larger than 
One and nothing smaller than one, — the unit must 
always be the starting point and the final point. "I 
am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" 
(employing the first and last letters in the Greek 
alphabet), refers to the absolute unconditioned or 
unlimited life which is truly described in the mighty 
title of Deity, "I am that I am." We all speak 
glibly enough of infinite and eternal, but no finite 
mind can grasp or measure infinity and eternity, 
therefore we have no ground for dissenting entirely 

84 The Kabbalistic Use 

from Herbert Spencer's historic use of the word 
Unknowable. The absolute must be unknowable to 
the relative, for the simple reason that the former 
is illimitable while the latter is definitely limited. 
It is only in some conditioned revelation or mani- 
festation that we can form any idea of the One 
Eternal Cause whence all effects originally proceed, 
and though it would be presumptuous and absurd 
to claim for the Kabbalah that it sets forth all that 
can ever be apprehended of Divine activities, it is 
but fair to insist that it far surpasses many other 
documents which attempt to perform a similar task, 
both in its comparative clearness of definitions and 
in its successful avoidance of polytheism, for it ac- 
tually does describe with minute detail various hosts 
of subordinate entities employed by Deity without 
ever drifting into the hopeless tangle in which all 
systems become inextricably involved as soon as 
they lose the thought of essential unity. Modern 
scholarship at its highest and best is taking much 
account of the polytheistic systems of Egypt, As- 
syria, Babylonia, Scandinavia, Greece and Rome, as 
well as India, and though many gods and goddesses 
are mentioned by name in all of them, and distinc- 
tive attributes assigned to each variety of subordi- 
nate divinities, it is always discovered that before 
and behind all these polytheistic concepts lies the 
primitive idea of a single absolute One who is in 

and Significance of Numbers 85 

no way dependent upon those varied hosts of lesser 
lights, but all depend upon the Supreme Unity. 
Rawlinson, Wallis Budge, and indeed all distin- 
guished writers upon ancient Egyptian religion in- 
sist upon this fact with great determination. There 
is nothing irrational, or in any way out of align- 
ment with our knowledge of the world in which we 
live, and the wider knowledge attainable through a 
study of astronomy, in the Kabbalistic descriptions 
of celestial companies, with distinctive missions to 
fulfil ; indeed it seems almost incredible that anyone 
grasping the Copernican instead of the Ptolemaic 
theory of the Universe should entertain the thought 
that only one small planet like our earth should be 
inhabited, or that the race to which we belong should 
be the only race of intelligent entities peopling the 
vast domains revealed to our vision by the telescope. 
The eminent French astronomer, Camille Flam- 
marion, when under 20 years of age wrote a beau- 
tiful astronomical treatise entitled "The Plurality 
of Inhabited Worlds," and when at the age of 70 
he reviewed his youthful ebullition he declared that 
his half-century of research in the interim had not 
led him to change his views in any substantial man- 
ner, only to further elaborate them. In that curious 
book by Professor Alfred Russel Wallace, "Man's 
Place in the Universe," we find the startling theory 
floated that this world of ours is actually the centre 

86 The Kabbalistic Use 

of this universe, and that all other inhabited worlds 
therein are peopled by advanced souls who have once 
been embodied on this planet. This peculiar exalta- 
tion of our little earth found no favor with Flam- 
marion, who rather harshly controverted it, though 
he never spoke disrespectfully of the eminent Eng- 
lish naturalist who put it forward with considerable 
earnestness and apparent scientific justification. We 
allude to this modern glorification of our earth by 
a distinguished man of science to show that the high 
place assigned to our humanity in the universal 
scheme by teachers in days of old does not appear 
to be in conflict with the convictions of all modern 
evolutionists, for though both a Theist and a Spirit- 
ualist, Wallace was an uncompromising evolutionist, 
one whose name is rightfully coupled with that of 
Charles Darwin in the same field of natural ex- 

To the Kabbalist the modern doctrine of evolution 
is by no means unwelcome if it be made to rest upon 
a foundation of involution; indeed the very mean- 
ing of the word necessitates that such a foundation 
be logically supplied, for the Latin verb evolvere, 
from which evolution is derived, means to unroll, 
and unrolling is an unthinkable process unless some- 
thing be inrolled which is subsequently unfolded. 
The number 7 is sacred in the Kabbalah as in all 
other mystical treatises, and it would be folly to 

and Significance of Numbers 87 

urge that numbers were originally venerated with- 
out adequate reason ; 7 are the colors of the rainbow 
and 7 are the notes in the musical scale; 7 are the 
days of the week and 4 times 7 are the days of the 
lunar month; 9 are the months occupied in perfect 
human gestation. Thus we see that the honored 
numerals 7 and 9 have their position so completely 
fixed in nature that we cannot accuse those who 
first regarded them as sacred, and considered them 
spiritually ominous, of having invented a theory of 
fanciful character. The more we study the religious 
and other "superstitions" of the ancients the more 
convinced must we become that there is a very solid 
foundation under all widely extended venerations, 
and it can never be the part of wisdom to attempt 
to brush them ruthlessly aside, though in numberless 
instances it is highly necessary to cleanse them from 
accumulated excrescences and restore them as nearly 
as possible to their original natural simplicity. 

When Rosicrucians employ the 5 petaled wild 
rose as their fundamental floral emblem, and also 
pay honor to 5 in many other ways, we find them 
in this respect following nature very closely, for 5 
are the digits on each hand, and 5 are the toes on 
every perfect human foot. But here again we see 
how right are Kabbalists in giving far greater honor 
to 10, for each normal human body has 2 hands and 
2 feet; therefore 10 is the number of the hands and 

88 The Kabbalistic Use 

of the feet also. If we insist upon honoring 5 un- 
duly we have only a one-sided idea of human life, 
for either the masculine alone or the feminine alone 
must be the object of our esteem and veneration ; but 
when 10 is rightfully exalted in our symbolic usages, 
male and female are regarded as of equal dignity and 
excellence. In Masonic circles, both where the Co- 
Masonic idea is and where it is not accepted, 5 oc- 
cupies a very highly distinguished place; "5 points 
of fellowship" is a well-known phrase, and in the 
Order of the Eastern Star the star is 5 pointed and 
5 distinguished women are named in connection 
with it; 5 denotes cleavage of the sexes; 10 denotes 
their perfect unification. It would be quite permissi- 
ble for advocates of sex equality to adopt a 10 
pointed star as their emblem, and it might prove 
very useful as a symbol truly expressing a grand 

Numbers have always played a very important 
part in Jewish celebrations, and nowhere do we wit- 
ness a more perfect survival of a very ancient prac- 
tise than in the home service for Passover Eve, sol- 
emnly observed in all Jewish households which have 
not completely discontinued the impressive tradi- 
tional ceremonies in which the conservative element 
in the House of Israel takes unwearying delight. 

As there are 10 Commandments and these 10 
Precepts sum up the entire Mosaic Code in which 

and Significance of Numbers 89 

there are 613 distinct admonitions (adding up as 
10), the number 10 appears in the place of glory- 
not only in the Kabbalah and among Mystics in 
general, but wherever the faith of Israel is held in 
high esteem. Many instructive sidelights are thrown 
upon the Kabbalah and its special teaching with re- 
gard to the place and value of numbers in the uni- 
versal scheme, when we turn to Greek and other 
extra-Jewish sources to learn how the Gentile na- 
tions have esteemed this same entrancing subject. 
Classic authors make frequent reference to numbers 
and the place they occupy in Nature. Among them 
Proclus in particular has spoken with great definite- 
ness concerning the general doctrine of the philos- 
ophers of many lands, for he tells us that "number 
has always a being; one in voice, another in the 
proportion of things, another in the soul and rea- 
son, and yet another in Divine things." Plato and 
many other renowned philosophers declared that no 
man can possibly be a true philosopher without a 
correct knowledge of the significance of numbers. 
Simple numbers are always said to signify Divine 
things; numbers of tens things celestial, numbers 
of hundreds things terrestrial, while predictions of 
things to come are expressed in thousands. Though 
such a statement may at first seem strange, it can 

90 The Kabbalistic Use 

easily be harmonized with the idea of the number i, 
suggesting absolute unity, connoting our idea of the 
Divine Reality, and all multiplications denoting rel- 
ative inferiority. In a very curious work entitled 
"Numbers ; Their Meaning and Magic," by Isidore 
Kozminsky, we receive a great deal of strange in- 
formation, professedly Kabbalistic, concerning the 
association of numbers with astrological concepts. 
In that volume we read that the vibrations of I are 
solar, of 2 lunar, of 3 Jupiterian, of 4 Solar, of 5 
Mercurial, of 6 Venusian, of 7 Lunar, of 8 Saturn- 
ine, of 9 Martial, of 10 Solar, of 11 Lunar, of 12 
Jupiterian. The number 11 is frequently regarded 
as so peculiar that it stands forth in a positively 
unique manner and the two units constituting it must 
never be added so as to make 2. This ominous num- 
ber has been held significant of the 11 Paths of 
Darkness in contrast with the 10 Paths of Splendor. 
In some ancient Hebrew works of unusual char- 
acter it has been assigned to Lilith, the first wife 
of Adam. The Kabbalah, in the section known as 
Sepher Yetzirah, praises the number 11 highly and 
declares the nth Path to be one of Glittering In- 
telligence endowed with special grandeur so that 
whosoever travels thereon to the end thereof with 
true understanding shall attain to the sight of Deity 
and live. From this statement we gather that the 
nth Path is one of great difficulty and refers to a 

and Significance of Numbers 91 

high initiation resulting only from that purity of 
affection which leads to the Beatific Vision accord- 
ing to the Sermon on the Mount and the teachings 
of all advanced Mystica. Concerning 12 so very 
much has been written and spoken that its general 
significance is almost universally familiar as an omen 
of completeness. The 12 Tribes of Israel are often 
associated with the 12 Signs of the Zodiac, and in 
Christian literature with the 12 Apostles. In the 
Apocalypse or Book of Revelation we find numbers 
employed almost exactly as in the Kabbalah, and 
there is a striking resemblance between the allegori- 
cal language of that mysterious concluding docu- 
ment in the New Testament and the figurative lan- 
guage common to the prophetical treatises known 
as Daniel and Ezekiel. 7 invariably stands for com- 
pleteness where quality is concerned; 12 denotes 
completeness to the fulness of variety. 7 and its 
multiples always suggest moral perfection and spir- 
itual attainment, while 12 and its multiples conveys 
the thought of a perfect ingathering of all types 
needed to secure a complete representation of all 
the varied states or conditions of humanity which 
must rightly federate to produce a truly compendi- 
ous whole. Instead of fusion or amalgamation, the 
Kabbalistic idea of federation is that of perfectly 
harmonious co-operation ; a concept much easier to 
grasp and provocative of no reasonable opposition. 

92 The Kabbalistic Use 

As the number 13 is one which has been long re- 
garded by hosts of superstitious people with aversion 
and dread, it is interesting to note that in truly en- 
lightened Kabbalistic circles it is never maligned or 
dreaded but is regarded as significant of the under- 
standing of truth. In the Sepher Yetzirah 13 is 
spoken of in connection with the Path of Unity and 
it is said that he who hath a right understanding of 
the meaning of this number possesses the key to 
spiritual knowledge and can exercise great power 
and dominion. This saying is easily comprehended 
if we remember the exalted place occupied by 13 to 
this very day, a judge and 12 jurors making 13. 
When a Master is seated with 12 specially chosen 
disciples 13 must be the number present. The dread 
of 13 probably arose among those who had cause 
to fear the passing of a verdict. If 13 be regarded 
as the number denoting judgment it is easy enough 
to see how it has come to excite fear among those 
who feel within themselves a sense of guiltiness. 
But precisely because a just sentence must expose 
and condemn iniquity it must also remove unjust 
suspicion from the innocent ; consequently when the 
unrighteous have cause to tremble, the upright have 
reason to rejoice; 13 according to this interpreta- 
tion can only be (seemingly) unfortunate for those 
who have transgressed the moral law, and even for 
them, if a just penalty be administered, it works for 

and Significance of Numbers 93 

their ultimate benefit as well as for the vindication 
of such among the innocent as have been falsely 
accused. Proceeding along the numerical line, and 
attaching a single expressive meaning to each num- 
ber as we ascend the ladder, we find 14 associated 
with constant motion and also with f orgetf ulness ■; 
15 is associated with magic and mystery, and in the 
Sepher Yetzirah it is connected with the Path of 
Darkness (temporary obscuration) ; 16 is found de- 
noting the Path of Glory and Victory for the Right- 
eous, and we must always remember that the Kab- 
balah regards righteousness as equivalent to triumph 
over obstacles, as in the story of Parsifal, which is 
founded originally upon legends far older than the 
Arthurian; 17 has been mentioned as the number 
of the Star of the Magi and is found signifying the 
Path of the Realization of Reward by the Right- 
eous; 18 has been allied symbolically with the Twi- 
light and Falling Dew, and the 18th Path has been 
named that of the Senses; 19 is connected with an- 
cient symbols of the Sun and is sometimes typified 
by an Angel unwinding Destinies ; the Sepher Yetzi- 
rah styles it the Path of Spiritual Activity ; 20 sym- 
bolizes the Awakening of the Dead and the Final 
Judgment, which terms have a deep significance in 
occult literature referring to the new life of those 
who have passed through a mystical demise and are 
now quickened to a life of hitherto unknown activ- 

94 The Kabbalistic Use 

ities ; the Sepher Yetzirah calls the 20th Path the 
road of Primordial Wisdom in general diffusion; 
21 in the Kabbalah is associated directly with Con- 
ciliation ; 22 being the number which completes the 
Hebrew alphabet is described in the Kabbalah as de- 
noting, for those who tread the 22d Path, spiritual 
light streaming over the entire earth, and as the 
letter Tau is cruciform we find it to be the number 
of that Sign of the Cross wherein Initiates conquer. 
Though at the present day the figure of the cross 
is usually far from honored among Israelites, that 
is in consequence of its connection with persecution 
and its adoption by many who have been oppressors 
of the House of Israel as their especial badge and 
emblem, but in ancient times the cross as a symbol 
had no such painful and harrowing associations. In 
Egypt it was a Nilometer marking the rising and 
falling of the river without whose periodical over- 
flow the land would have been desolate, and among 
early Kabbalists it stood for the fulfilment of initia- 
tion into the sacred mysteries, as it stood also in 
other mystical systems of Oriental origin. 



EHphas Levi, the famous French author, in his 
"Key of the Mysteries/' gives us much valuable 
condensed information concerning the theories pro- 
mulgated by distinguished Kabbalists concerning 
the Soul and its various attributes and expressions. 
We gather from a general concensus that the follow- 
ing definitions are fairly representative of the lead- 
ing doctrines enunciated by distinguished Rabbis to 
whom a study of Kabbalah has been a constant 
work of rare delight and great satisfaction. 

The soul is a veiled light, triple in nature. The 
Hebrew word Neshamah is used to designate pure 
spirit. Ruach is the name given to the human ra- 
tional principle which occupies a middle rank be- 
tween pure spirit (in essence divine) and Nephesh 
which signifies the animating principle in all ani- 
mate existences, human and sub-human equally. For 
the convenience of readers whose mother tongue is 
English and who, though familiar with Christian 


96 Kabbalistic Views 

terminology are ignorant of Hebrew designations, 
it may be safe to connect Neshamah with the idea 
of an abiding entity, uncompounded and indissolu- 
ble, causing many persons to use the familiar phrase, 
"immortality of the soul." But as the word soul is 
used in many connections, superior and inferior, it is 
necessary to explain exactly what is meant by soul 
before we speak of its immortality, or even of its 
immortability. Every chemist will readily admit 
that all compounds are dissoluble, but could we dis- 
cover an absolute simple which had never been com- 
pounded we could logically conceive of its everlast- 
ing simple integrity. This is the Platonic idea of 
the abiding entity as set forth in the Phaedo during 
the reported farewell discourse of Socrates with his 
friends immediately prior to his physical decease. 
The Hindu concept of the permanent entity is often 
expressed in English in such words as "Never the soul 
was born and the soul can die never." It certainly 
seems necessary, whenever we institute an enquiry 
into the origin and nature of widespread religious and 
philosophical concepts, to ask ourselves whence have 
the most vital among them been derived and why is 
it that despite all seeming evidence to the contrary 
they go on living, surviving every attack made upon 
them. Logicians never dispute the fact that for 
every effect there must be an adequate or efficient 
cause. What can be the root-fact lying behind our 

of the Human Soul 97 

persistent belief in our own immortality, which can- 
not possibly have been derived from sensuous ob- 
servation or from any process of reasoning upon the 
natural phenomena with which we are all perpetu- 
ally confronted? 

The Kabbalah carries us into fields of spiritual 
experience entirely removed from ordinary scientific 
research and speculation, and it is quite easy to see 
how Kabbalists maintain philosophical consistency, 
no matter into what profound philosophic depths 
they plunge, because they start with a declaration 
that their knowledge is communicated from celestial 
beings to receptive minds on earth, therefore the in- 
formation they obtain is beyond the findings of un- 
assisted human reason, but in no way contradictory 
to any rational inferences. 

The animal man lives only in the consciousness 
of nephesh, which is sometimes termed the plastic 
mediator between the higher realms of spirit and in- 
tellect and the most external earth. Nephesh is said to 
be relatively immortal through a constant dissolution 
and renewal of forms. Ruach is progressive through 
the constant evolution of ideas. Neshamah is pro- 
gressive without forgetfulness and without dissolu- 
tion. Here we have an outline idea of 3 distinct 
planes of consciousness in humanity, and that these 
planes are widely acknowledged by thinkers and 
students all over the world, in varying measures of 

98 Kabbalistic Views 

clearness, is virtually beyond dispute. From this 
consideration we are led luminously through many 
otherwise dark and bewildering mazes and labyrinths 
of Oriental speculation, and the doctrine of human 
re-incarnation — always a moot problem in the West- 
ern world — is considerably enlightened. The Kab- 
ibalah deals with 3 distinct habitations of souls : The 
.Abyss of Life; The Superior Eden; The Inferior 

From the first mentioned state souls descend into 
the second, and from the second into the third. The 
physical body is the veil of Nephesh, which is in 
turn the veil of Ruach, which in its turn is the veil 
of Neshamah. These 3 Veils are constantly alluded 
to in Kabbalistic writings ; a consideration of them 
may greatly help Bible students to discover some- 
thing of the esoteric meaning of the veil which 
Moses wore when addressing the Children of Israel 
after his descent from Sinai, and also of the declara- 
tion that the veil of the temple in Jerusalem was 
rent asunder when the Master in the gospels yielded 
up his spirit to the Father. The following sentences 
are translated quotations from the French work of 
Eliphas Levi : 

"Light personifies itself by veiling itself, and 
the personification is stable only when the veil is 
perfect." "This perfection upon earth is relative to 
the universal soul of the earth. As is the Macrocosm 

of the Human Soul 99 

or greater world, so is the Microcosm or lesser 
world, which is humanity." 

We are next told that there are 3 atmospheres in 
which souls can dwell, the 3d of which ends where 
interplanetary attraction commences. This teach- 
ing accords substantially with the teachings of many 
schools of Theosophists and Occultists, and it agrees 
also with a great deal of modern Spiritualistic testi- 
mony, though Spiritualists as a rule speak of 7 dis- 
tinct spheres rather than of 3 only ; but the 2 num- 
bers are easily reconcilable as 7 is the number of 
the prismatic hues and 3 is often given as that of 
the primary colors. The idea is that this earth, in 
common with other planets in our solar system, is 
surrounded by belts or zones of increasing attenuity 
and luminosity as we proceed outward from the 
physical centre of gravity; but though we who are 
bound to physical sense-observation regard the 
coarse matter of the physical plane as the solidest of 
all, it is really the least permanent, being of the 
loosest composition and most readily destructible, 
a fact which every modern physicist abundantly con- 
firms. What the Kabbalah sets forth in ponderous 
and impressive old-world phraseology the modern 
professor of physics is approaching rapidly along 
the very different line of painstaking physical re- 
search. It is now quite usual to hear a learned 
scientist refer to ether as far more solid than what 

100 Kabbalistic Views 

we commonly call matter, and we are surely all well 
aware that unseen substance is far mightier and far 
more enduring than aught we can behold with our 
extremely imperfect external vision. Again quot- 
ing from Eliphas Levi's admirable condensation of 
Kabbalistic philosophy we offer without comment 
the following thought-provoking sentences : "Souls 
perfected on this earth pass on to another station. 
After traversing the planets they reach the Sun; 
then they ascend into another universe and recom- 
mence their planetary evolution from world to world 
and from sun to sun." 

"In the suns they remember; in the planets they 

"Solar lives are days of eternal life; planetary 
lives are nights filled with dreams." 

"Angels are luminous emanations personified, not 
by trial and veil, but by divine influence and 

"Angels aspire to become men, for perfected man 
is above all angels." 

"Planetary lives are composed of 10 dreams of 
ioo years each. Each solar life extends to 1,000 
years; therefore it is recorded that 1,000 years are 
in the sight of God as one day." 

"Every week, i. e. y every 14,000 years, the soul 
bathes itself and reposes in the jubilee dream of for- 
getfulness. On waking therefrom it has forgotten 
all evil, but remembers all good." 

of the Human Soul 101 

In the above sayings, which condense volumes of 
Kabbalistic teaching in a few brief paragraphs, we 
find the complete gist of the erudite philosophy we 
are seeking to explain, and though it would be in- 
deed a too prodigious task to seek to elucidate the 
w T hole of so vast a concept, we can cordially recom- 
mend a diligent study of it to all who wish to under- 
stand in some degree the inculcations of those wise 
seers and sages who have left to the present gen- 
eration a priceless philosophic legacy. Each reader 
may meditate at will upon such profound assertions 
as the foregoing, and none are expected to accept 
blindly any sayings, no matter from what exalted 
source they may have emanated, for if we fail to 
employ our reason upon what we read and hear we 
may accept blindly and repeat like parrots many im- 
portant truths, but having only hearsay knowledge 
we have no root of the matter thriving in us. 

The sublimity of the idea, and its perfect con- 
sonance with the heliocentric theory of the universe, 
at once stamps it as the outcome of highly enlight- 
ened thinkers or wonderfully illumined seers, for so 
majestic a view of the Universe and the progression 
of souls therein could not possibly have emanated 
from crude ignorance or from the wild vaporings of 
unbalanced sensitives, who rise to no higher planes 
of knowledge than the earthbound sphere which 
Occultists of all schools maintain is the temporary 

"02 Kabbalistic Views 

abode of the great mass of comparatively unaspiring 
human entities when they shuffle off their mortal coils. 
Progress is everywhere the law of life, and it seems 
scarcely credible that any sane individual can en- 
dorse the antiquated theological fiction of souls pass- 
ing at the moment of physical dissolution into per- 
manent states of joy or misery, light or darkness, 
which will endure for them eternally. The Kab- 
balah reasonably interpreted proclaims a doctrine of 
varied and progressive spiritual existence for every 
soul, so far enlightened and enlightening as to com- 
pel the serious attention of the most eminent intel- 
lects of to-day, to whom psychology and psychical 
research are making a profound appeal. Religious 
doctrines are everywhere in a state of flux, and on 
every side we note the breaking up of creeds and 
the discarding of theories which no amount of 
casuistical argument can bring into alignment with 
the discoveries of science and the reasoning of astute 

In the midst of the present contention the vener- 
able Kabbalah lifts its voice and only asks for can- 
did examination. Those who know it best, and 
therefore prize it most sincerely, are not afraid that 
its archaisms will prevent genuine scholars from pen- 
etrating below the surface of its occasionally obscure 
diction to discover the gems of priceless wisdom 
which are contained in its awe-inspiring and yet 
hope-inspiring mines of as yet unfathomed depth. 



From what has been set forth in preceding chap- 
ters our readers may now be interested to trace, in 
some slight degree, the attitude taken by Kab- 
balists toward the great doctrine of Karma which 
has loomed so large of late before all enquirers into 
Theosophy, and indeed before the eyes of all read- 
ers of Sir Edwin Arnold's majestic poem, "The 
Light of Asia," and many other well-known works 
by distinguished authors who have set themselves 
the task of translating Oriental ideas, as far as pos- 
sible, into Occidental language. 

In the Kabbalah we have a good account of how 
those effects are produced sometimes designated 
"good and evil karma." When Ruach is under the 
guidance of Neshamah, and Nephesh is rightly 
dominated by the illumined Ruach, such causes are 
set in motion as beget delightful effects (good 
karma) ; but when Ruach is under the sway of 
Nephesh, in that inverted condition causes are gen- 


104 Kabbalistic Doctrine 

erated which bring forth sorrowful and discordant 
consequences (evil karma). The Kabbalah speaks of 
2 angels attached to every soul, Michael and Samael, 
the former being the celestial warrior who wards off 
all discordant influences which find their embodiment 
in Samael. 

Though these 2 representative Angels, one com- 
monly designated good and the other evil, seemingly 
as opposite as Parsifal and Klingsor, the Kabbalah 
by no means contents itself with simply teaching the 
ancient well-nigh universal doctrine that every soul 
on coming into incarnation is attended by a spirit 
of light and a spirit of darkness. There is a deeper 
and fuller interpretation placed upon these opposing 
influences agreeing with the doctrine inculcated in 
the epistle of James which plainly states that though 
no man is tempted by God to do evil there is no 
need for imaging an outside evil spirit as the 
tempter, because every man is tempted when led 
away and enticed by the desires of his own lower self. 
This teaching is stated in the Kabbalah about as 
follows : From Ruach and Nephesh, influenced by 
the good aspiration of Neshamah, proceeds Michael, 
the good angel of the soul ; that is to say, the syn- 
thetical hieroglyph of the good ideas, the "good 
karma" of a man. From Nephesh dominating 
Ruach, and uninfluenced by the good aspirations of 
Neshamah, proceeds Samael, the evil angel of the 

Concerning Cause and Effect 105 

soul; that is to say, the synthetical hieroglyph of 
the evil ideas, the "evil karma" of a man. The 
Tzelem (image) is double, reflecting both Michael 
and Samael. 

The following terse and comprehensive sentences 
are chiefly extracted from Dr. Jellinck's analysis of 
Kabbalistic teachings as filtered through the alembic 
of the philosophy of Spinoza; they are certainly 
worthy of more than passing notice. The primary 
cause and governor of the world is Ain Soph (Su- 
preme Wisdom), who is both immanent and trans- 
cendent. Each effect has a cause, and everything 
which manifests order and design has a governor. 

Every visible thing has a limit, and is therefore 
finite; no 2 finite objects are absolutely identical. 
The primary cause of the world is invisible and un- 
limited, therefore infinite. 

As the primal cause of the world is infinite, noth- 
ing can exist independently of it, hence that cause 
must be immanent. 

As the visible world is limited and not perfect, it 
cannot proceed directly from the Supreme Cause, 
Ain Soph, still Ain Soph exercises influence over 
it, and that influence is exerted through the inter- 
mediation of the Sephiroth. The Sephiroth in their 
most intimate connection with Ain Soph are per- 
fect, but in their severance are imperfect. All things 
originate with the Sephiroth, by means of their ac- 

106 Kabbalistic Doctrine 

tivities. The visible world has 3 distinct or discrete 
degrees : higher, middle, lower. 

All bodies have 3 dimensions, each repeating the 
other; 3 multiplied by 3 gives 9, and by adding 
thereto "space in general," which is seemingly a 
concept according with the modern idea of a "4th 
dimension," we arrive at 10, which is the complete 
number of all expressions proceeding from primal 
unity. Concerning the number 10 it is stated that 
as heat, flame, sparks and color have but one basis 
though they differ each from the other, so the num- 
ber 10 does not contradict absolute unity as an orig- 
inal, but as cogitation or thought, and even the mind 
itself as a cogitated object is limited, becomes con- 
crete and has a measure, although pure thought pro- 
ceeding from Ain Soph is illimitable, so limit, meas- 
ure and contraction are attributes of the Sephiroth, 
which are emanations, not creations. 

As Ain Soph, the source whence the Sephiroth pro- 
ceed, is perfect, so are they perfect. All created ob- 
jects diminish by abstraction, but the Sephiroth can- 
not be diminished; their activity is never-ceasing. 
In view of much modern metaphysical terminology 
which employs the familiar word reality in 2 decid- 
edly opposite senses, it is both interesting and in- 
structive to note how this word is employed in the 
Kabbalah. It is stated that each Sephira was within 
Ain Soph before it became a reality, i. e., before it 

Concerning Cause and Effect 107 

was externalized or had emanated. The first emana- 
tion constitutes the base of the objective realm, on 
which all that is phenomenal is superposed. The 
second Sephira is described as the potency of the 
intellectual world, and the remaining 8 Sephiroth 
are described as the foundation of the moral and 
material worlds. The various emanations do not 
imply a prius and posterios, or a gradation in the 
Sephiroth, but the entire Sephiroth are comparable 
with a light which kindles many lights which shine 
sooner and later and variously, but constitute essen- 
tially a perfect unity. 

As the Sephiroth do not set aside the unity of 
Ain Soph, each one of them must receive light from 
the preceding and transmit it to the succeeding 
Sephira, each in turn being both receptive and im- 
partive. It is interesting and instructive to keep 
clearly in mind the distinctive qualities of the vari- 
ous Sephiroth, and by this means only can we clearly 
understand the Kabbalistic doctrine of succession 
and transference. 

The first Sephira is called Inscrutable Height, 
which actually means a state and quality of existence 
which transcends our present comprehension, and 
while not necessarily unknowable is at present de- 
cidedly unknown, unless certain higher human fac- 
ulties are developed higher than any that the average 
man or woman of to-day has become cognizant of. 

108 Kabbalistic Doctrine 

The 2nd Sephira is Wisdom, the 3rd Intelligence, 
the 4th Love, the 5th Justice, the 6th Beauty, the 
7th Firmness, the 8th Splendor, the 9th Foundation, 
the 10th Righteousness. As the relation between 
macrocosm and microcosm is everywhere insisted 
upon, alike in Hermetic and Kabbalistic literature, 
we can profitably reflect upon the foregoing order 
as it exists within ourselves as well as within the 
external universe of which man is a perfect replica. 
Kabbalistic and Gnostic teachings completely syn- 
thesize opposing schools of philosophy by showing 
the nexus or meeting place between them. It seems 
incredible that the same school can teach Metaphys- 
ics and Realism at the same time; but the Kabbalah 
teaches both equally, and in the light of its 
ample philosophy there is no discordance between 
Idealism and Realism, for the reason that a synthetic 
philosopher is both a Platonist and an Aristotelian, 
in that he can reason from spiritual cause to physical 
effect with Plato and also from effect back to cause 
with Aristotle. The Universe presents itself to the 
abstract metaphysician as his own interior concept, 
w r hile to the Realist it presents itself as a phenom- 
enal object to be studied by looking outward instead 
of inward. The Kabbalist has trained himself to 
look equally in both directions, consequently he can 
see a perfect resemblance between the world of life 
which he finds within, and the corresponding world 

Concerning Cause and Effect 109 

of expression which he beholds without. The first 
3 Sephiroth are said to form the world of thought ; 
the middle 3 the world of soul (psyche, whence we 
derive psychic) ; the 4 last the world of body. The 
Kabbalist, like the Hermetist or Gnostic, always em- 
phasizes the fact that we cannot conceive of any- 
thing we do not contain. Here we find a reasonable 
interpretation of universal human experiences of all 
varieties. There must be something in the observer 
corresponding with the thing observed or observa- 
tion would be impossible; in like manner is it logi- 
cally self-evident that were we inwardly destitute 
of wisdom, love, justice, mercy, and other divine 
attributes we should never have attributed them to 
any being whatsoever, because we should have no 
conception of them in our own minds. This is the 
most vital point to discuss when treating of the rela- 
tion existing between ourselves and the universe 
which contains us. If we speak of divine attributes, 
as we frequently do, we must be aware of sharing 
and appreciating them in some degree. It would 
help to clear away an immense amount of fogginess 
in the domain of religious and philosophical con- 
troversy if we would only be as rational as the 
Kabbalists when we set forth to give expression to 
our theory of the Universe, and we presume that 
every thinking individual has formulated tentatively 
some theory of the Universe, unless he confesses to 

1 1 Kabbalistic Doctrine 

abiding in a chronic condition of complete mental 
chaos. We must always postulate unity and con- 
template our abiding spiritual selves as indissoluble 
units before we can use the pronoun I intelligibly. 
It is absurd to say / do so and so if I have no con- 
ception of what I mean by I. It is likewise ridic- 
ulous to call upon one individual to love another 
without possessing some intelligible idea of what 
constitutes individuality, and of how individuals 
may be profitably co-operative. Ralph Waldo Em- 
erson, though in many respects an idealist and trans- 
cendentalism and familiarly styled "the American 
Plato," was perfectly clear on the question of indi- 
viduality when he said, with deep sincerity of con- 
viction and force of utterance, "I am I and you are 
you." The Hebrew Kabbalah reflects Jewish the- 
osophical ideas, and though in some respects they 
agree w T ith, at other points they radically differ from 
distinctively Hindu conceptions. 

Judaism is essentially optimistic ; whenever a Jew 
becomes pessimistic he wanders away from Juda- 
ism in thought if not in practise, and Jewish op- 
timism concerns the present world in which we are 
now living regardless of whether certain individual 
Jews have well formulated ideas concerning a future 
state or otherwise. Judaism invariably seeks for 
God as revealed in universal humanity, not conclu- 
sively in any particular member of the human race, 

Concerning Cause and Effect 1 1 1 

therefore the Jewish idea of divine incarnation is 
racial rather than particular. To turn a Jew to or- 
thodox Christianity necessitates forcing him to give 
up his optimistic views of human life and adopting 
a theory of inherent human sinfulness utterly re- 
pugnant to the fundamentals of Judaism. Human- 
ity is imperfect but perfectable; therefore the pre- 
cept in the 19th chapter of Leviticus is an urge to- 
ward a glorious ideal "Be ye perfect, even because 
the Lord your God is perfect." The All-Holy One 
is the best term we can employ to express the funda- 
mental Jewish idea of Deity. Faith in Israel does 
not signify belief but righteousness, and so all- 
embracing is the Hebrew word Tzedeq that it means 
all-round integrity. Christian students of Kabbalah 
will do well to meditate upon the famous saying in 
the epistle of James, "The effectual fervent prayer 
of a righteous man availeth much," and if one gets 
to the inmost core of that saying it will be found to 
mean one who has grasped the idea of righteous 
balance, i. e. , of the equal development of all excel- 
lencies in a symphonic character. The philosophers, 
who according to Plato, will hold the balance of 
power in an ideal Republic are, as the Greek original 
intends, those in whom love and wisdom, justice 
and mercy, are so equally blended that there can 
never be even seemingly a conflict between those 
equally divine attributes, which are latent in all hu- 

1 1 2 Kabbalistic Doctrine 

manity and which only need calling forth into active 
expression to bring about the establishment of the 
long predicted reign of righteousness on earth. The 
Kabbalistic idea of the correspondence between the 
different parts of our human constitution and the 
Sephiroth is worthy of high regard. The first 
sephira finds its correspondence in the soul, con- 
sidered as a pure uncompounded simple, an absolute 
indivisible unit, therefore truly immortal. The 2nd 
sephira is related closely with the vitalising energy 
or interior breath (spirit) proceeding from the pri- 
mal unit and perpetually going forth into all sections 
of our interior organism and constituting the life 
thereof. The 3rd sephira corresponds with human 
rationality; the 4th with the connecting link be- 
tween the rational mind and the exterior organism ; 
the 5th with the animal soul, the seat of every carnal 
appetite; the 6th sephira operates through the 
blood ; the 7th through the bones ; the 8th through 
the veins; the 9th through the flesh; the 10th pro- 
duces the skin; this is, of course, in an order of 
proceeding downward, for the Kabbalah teaches, as 
does Swedenborg, that highest correspondences are 
with interiors and lowest with exteriors. There is 
no idea of vengeance or vindictive punishment in 
Kabbalistic teaching, but there is a stern and un- 
compromising doctrine of cause and effect. We are 
not arbitrarily rewarded or punished for virtues or 

Concerning Cause and Effect 1 1 3 

vices, but the law of sequence is never violable. The 
great stumbling-block that people place in the way 
of clearing up many difficulties concerning "karma" 
is that they import into the idea of exact retribution 
an utterly foreign element, vindictiveness. No mat- 
ter to what creed or school of thought people may 
have attached themselves, unless they have devel- 
oped unusually clear intellects, and also unusual 
freedom from widespread misconceptions, they talk 
about being "punished" for something, and then 
proceed either to whine and whimper or else to re- 
sign themselves to a supposedly hard and cruel in- 
evitable fate. 

In Shakespere's day the false idea of one divine 
attribute being in opposition to another, in the sense 
of mutual antagonism, held sway over the minds of 
multitudes, therefore Portia, in The Merchant of 
Venice, voices the prevailing theological fallacy in 
the oft-quoted words, "In the course of justice none 
of us would see salvation." Recommending a pris- 
oner at the bar "from justice to mercy" is a common 
expression to-day, but it is an utterly misleading one, 
for justice without mercy, or mercy without justice, 
can never bring about the true welfare either of an 
individual or of the State. It can never be either 
just or merciful to inflict wrong on any one, or to 
excuse any from paying the price of necessary edu- 
cational and reformatory penalties after they have 

1 1 4 Kabbalistic Doctrine 

transgressed a moral precept. Correction and chas- 
tisement are words of originally beautiful signifi- 
cance, but they have been so travestied, and their 
meanings so hideously obscured, that an average 
Christian congregation can hardly understand the 
magnificent words from an epistle in the New Testa- 
ment "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." But 
if we substitute the equivalent word purifieth, the 
significance ought to be obviously clear. Marie 
Corelli, in her wonderful novel, "The Soul of 
Lilitli," puts into the lips of a very attractive young 
man, Fcraz, a true exposition of the outworking of 
the karmic or sequential law, for he startles those 
with whom he converses by assuring them that far 
from praying to be excused from necessary discip- 
linary suffering he prefers to pray that he may 
receive his full share of it. Everything finally de- 
pends upon the attitude we take toward the condi- 
tions we are in whether we can harmonize their 
existence with an optimistic philosophy of life or 
otherwise. No matter how hard a trial may be, or 
how immediately sorrowful a situation, if we can 
but see in it some means toward real betterment it 
is impossible for us to give place to despair. Dante 
was right when he said that over infernal portals 
stood the phrase "Abandon hope all ye who enter 
here/' and many theologians have classed despair 
as the most heinous among mortal sins. 

Concerning Cause and Effect 1 1 5 

Taking the doctrine of the Kabbalah to an afflicted 
person whom we desired to comfort, we certainly 
could not ignore the fact that some adequate cause 
has produced the existing painful complications ; but 
we should certainly assure that sufferer that trials 
are tests, not punishments, and that victory is to be 
gained over them and by means of them. There are 
many erroneous views of karma entertained at pres- 
ent both by those who profess to teach its action 
and by those who dislike the very mention of the 
word. The Kabbalah goes to no extreme either on 
the side of mildness or severity, but teaches with 
uncompromising fairness that the order of the Uni- 
verse is at the same instant both mild and severe; 
but it is never cruel or vindictive, and never can be. 

From the pragmatic standpoint the Kabbalah has 
indeed much to commend it, and from the ethical 
viewpoint it is impossible to reproach it. Mysteri- 
ous it may be ; unfamiliar to English ears in phrase- 
ology, and perhaps archaic rather than modern in 
form of presenting fundamental verities, but as a 
contribution to synthetic philosophy it is the con- 
tainer of manifold suggestions of the utmost per- 
manent value; therefore we rejoice in the publica- 
tion of a magnificent literary curio by Arthur Ed- 
ward Waite, "The Secret Doctrine in Israel/' to 
which we call the serious attention of our readers 
in our next chapters. 




Perennial interest seems to attach to the serpent 
as a symbol, on the one hand of wisdom, and on the 
other of all that is lowest and vilest in the universe. 
The Kabbalah is by no means silent regarding the 
mystic meanings of this strange emblem of the 
means whereby humanity gains experience, and 
through experience wisdom, power and liberty, but 
not without trial and conflict and a seeming fall 
from original innocence. Innocence and purity are 
not the same, and because the vital distinction be- 
tween an innocent state and a purified condition has 
been frequently lost sight of, an immense amount 
of false and pessimistic teaching concerning alleged 
human depravity has exerted a depraving influence 
in the world. The glyph in Genesis in which the 
serpent figures very prominently is an allegory in- 
tended to set forth, as in a parable, the struggle 
which takes place within ourselves when we hear 
2 voices urging us in opposite directions at the same 


The Secret Tradition 1 1 7 

moment; and as we cannot possibly obey both, 
yielding to one necessitates rebelling against the dic- 
tates of the other. Tennyson's exquisite poem, 
"2 Voices/' is unsurpassed in English literature as 
a contribution to a practical study of those opposing 
tendencies in human nature of which we are all con- 
scious, and which can never be really explained away 
by an process of subtle or casuistical reasoning. But 
though we cannot explain away the conflict, we think 
we can, with the aid of the Kabbalah, throw some 
light upon what it signifies. Ever since the Chris- 
tian Church gave countenance to the atrocious doc- 
trine of everlasting misery, and thereby departed 
from the Universalism of Origen and other note- 
worthy doctors of early centuries, it has involved 
itself in hopeless confusion over all such subjects as 
Sin, Redemption, and other doctrines which from the 
Gnostic standpoint involve no difficulties which can- 
not be met and mastered consistently with faith in 
Supreme Love and Wisdom. Milton's "Paradise 
Regained," and passages in the Roman liturgical 
office for Holy Saturday, show clear traces of their 
early origin, but the beauty of the original is always 
seriously marred wherever the hideous nightmare 
of unending, and therefore useless, misery for any 
soul is a doctrine preached or even tolerated. The 
Fall of Angels is said in the Kabbalah, and in much 
other esoteric literature, to have antedated the Fall 

1 1 8 The Secret Tradition 

of the Human Race, but all these angels "who kept 
not their first estate' ' were, according to Origen and 
other "merciful doctors/' suffering expiatory pen- 
alties, and through the agency of such suffering 
were being gradually brought into harmony with 
divine order. It is well known that the most dis- 
tinguished theologians in the English Church to-day 
have no sympathy with that Augustinian theology 
which blighted Christendom in the 5th century. The 
age of the Zohar, or Book of Splendor, a most im- 
portant Kabbalistic work, may be disputed, but 
whenever and wherever it may have been actually 
put together, and it is unmistakably a compilation 
rather than an original work produced by a single 
author, the teaching it contains is both ancient and 
universal, Jewish and extra-Jewish, though never 
anti-Jewish. Some Christian commentators in re- 
cent years, particularly among Frenchmen, have 
endeavored to prove that it is partly a Christian 
work, but the proffered evidences are unconvincing, 
though it contains much that agrees perfectly with 
many of the best and purest teachings found in the 
writings of the earlier "fathers." No real scholar 
to-day would think of pronouncing the first 1 1 chap- 
ters of Genesis literally historical, and it is with 
their esoteric containment that the Zohar most in- 
terestingly deals. Judaism shared with other re- 
ligions a tradition of an earthly Paradise in the long 


Israel 119 

ago, and the Hebrews as a people shared many be- 
liefs with other nations, therefore we need not be 
surprised to find abundant traces of the same tra- 
ditions and beliefs in many different sacred writings 
of varying ages and local origins. A. E. Waite in- 
forms his readers accurately enough that "an ade- 
quate study of the Zohar on the subject of angel- 
ology, the fall of the angels, the hierarchy of demons 
which came about as a consequence, would begin in 
Talmudic literature and would be itself an under- 
taking of no inconsiderable magnitude, for behind 
that literature lies all Oriental belief/' (The Secret 
Doctrine in Israel, page 80.) That the Kabbalah 
teaches that there is a sense in which God is the 
author of "evil" cannot be denied, but all Bible stu- 
dents who treat the Bible fairly must face that mys- 
tery, put with amazing boldness in the 45th chapter 
of Isaiah, written undoubtedly in the post-exilic 
period in Israel's history, i. e., after the return to 
Palestine at the end of the Babylonian captivity. If 
we postulate a Supreme One, "Creator of heaven 
and earth and of all things visible and invisible," to 
quote verbatim from the Nicene Creed, we must 
hold God originally and ultimately responsible for 
all that occurs in the Universe, and that the Kab- 
balists do not shrink from doing. But though it 
seems very terrible to hold Deity to account for ir- 

120 The Secret Tradition 

remediable evil, the Kabbalah knows of none such, 
and regards all experiences through which angels 
and men can pass as radically educational. It makes 
all the difference imaginable whether one regards 
evil as permanent or only transitory, and whether 
one sees in it a possibility of conversion into good, as 
in music we know that all discords are resolvable 
into harmonies. Robert Browning's magnificent 
poem, Abt Vogler, is a beautiful English version 
of Zoharic teaching which reaches its climacteric in 
the thrilling words, "There shall never be one lost 
good, and for evil so much good more." Browning 
trod securely where Milton seems less definitely pro- 
nounced, and where Tennyson only fervently hoped. 
Whatever may be the exactly correct definition of 
the term "Christ," the Universalism of the writer 
commonly called Paul the Apostle is unquestion- 
able if we credit the splendid affirmation included 
in the canticle for Easter Day according to the usage 
of the Church of England, "As in Adam all die, 
even so in Christ shall all be made alive." How 
shamefully those sublime words have been watered 
down and travestied until they have lost nearly all 
of their original significance, is a sad and shameful 
story which needs no rehearsing here, but in a trea- 
tise on Kabbalah it is necessary to say at least a 
word concerning that union of Hebraism and Hel- 
lenism which is as conspicuous in some of the Paul- 


Israel 121 

ine epistles as in the philosophy of Philo of Alex- 
andria. Though there are many points of technical 
difference between Greek Gnosticism and Hebrew 
Kabbalism these differences are far more superficial 
than fundamental, for both systems acknowledge a 
hierarchy of celestial intelligences through whose in- 
strumentality the Supreme One guides and operates 
the Universe, and both systems have much to say 
about the fall of angels and men from an estate of 
simple innocence, their passage through trials and 
sufferings to a height they had never previously at- 
tained, and the ultimate triumph of righteousness 
over error in so perfectly complete a mannner that 
no vestige of wrong shall ultimately remain to mar 
the spiritual symmetry of the Universe. Christian 
Gnostics simply said that the work of restoration 
and glorification would be accomplished through the 
Christ, while Jewish K'abbalists employed another 
terminology. No Gnostic ever speaks of "vicari- 
ous" atonement, sacrifice or redemption, for the idea 
of vicariousness is utterly foreign and repugnant to 
the Gnostic and also to the Kabbalistic mind. We 
feel deeply indebted to A. E. Waite for the extreme 
lucidity with which he has expressed the Kabbalistic 
idea of the 2 Trees, especially of the Tree of Tempta- 
tion, in the following luminous paragraphs which 
quickly follow our recent quotation : 

122 The Secret Tradition 

"God created that Tree the eating of which meant 
that the full understanding of the evil side of things 
entered into the life of humanity, but the saving 
clause is that it imparted also the knowledge of 
good. There can be no question that from this point 
of view the Tree of the Trespass is a synonym or 
image of the Written Law, for this is prohibition 
above all things, which defines evil and separates 
that which is so imputed from what is recognized 
as good. It is understood, however, that the defi- 
nition is on the formal side and stands therein at its 
value, without reference to essentials." 

In the Kabbalah, though we have so much disser- 
tation concerning the Sephiroth, or emanations from 
the Supreme One, we find no exact parallel with the 
Demiurgos of the Gnostics or the 9 Choirs of Di- 
onysius. The Demons of the Kabbalah are prac- 
tically identical with the Infernal Hosts of Sweden- 
borg, which constitute those Hells which are inverted 
Heavens. The Swedenborgian idea of heavens and 
hells standing feet to feet, is pure Kabbalism and 
also Gnosticism, but a large number of commenta- 
tors on Swedenborg insist that he teaches the endless 
wilful continuance of hells, which is an utter per- 
version of the original concept. There are 2 philo- 
sophical explanations of the origin of this grievous 
misconception — one is that the relation between 
cause and effect being essentially unalterable, the 

in Israel 123 

same cause must produce the same effect no mat- 
ter in what world or age it may operate; the 
other interpretation of the root of the idea of 
perpetual evil is found in the supposition that 
there are always some rudimental worlds or ex- 
perimental stations in the universe, therefore, though 
no individual soul or group of souls remains in an 
infernal state everlastingly, there are always some 
individuals and groups in that condition. This idea 
is conceivable, and if we take our little planet as a 
sample of all worlds and our individual progressive 
experiences as universally typical, we find no dif- 
ficulty in accepting such a view. Lucifer is Light- 
bringer, Satan is Adversary ; these 2 opposing titles 
are applied to the same Archangel at different times, 
Lucifer when he is functioning as dispenser of divine 
knowledge and Satan when he is acting as the 
Tempter of humanity. In some rather doubtful 
portions of Kabbalistic literature we read a great 
deal about evil (fallen or inverted) angels co- 
mingling with humanity and introducing sorcery and 
all manner of mysterious abominations upon earth. 
This uncanny subject, which is of very doubtful au- 
thenticity, is treated very fully in Laurence Oli- 
phant's "Scientific Religion," also in "The Perfect 
Way or the Finding of Christ," by Anna Kingsford 

124 The Secret Tradition 

and Edward Maitland. It is not an agreeable theme 
to contemplate nor is it a profitable subject to pur- 
sue ; we simply allude to it in passing but have no 
wish to develop it as it has invariably proved a 
source of much unwholesome and gruesome specu- 
lation. The following quotation from A. E. Waite's 
erudite work (page 87) is a splendid summarization 
of Kabbalistic teaching concerning the 2 serpents, 
diametrically opposed the one to the other, which 
figure so prominently in the Hebrew, Greek and 
many other Scriptures. "As there is a serpent be- 
low which is still at work in the world, so there is 
a sacred serpent above which watches over mankind 
in all the roads and pathways and restrains the 
power of the impure serpent. It is one of the adorn- 
ments of the heavenly throne/' This expressive and 
enlightening declaration seems adequate to explain 
why the serpent is so generally feared and detested 
and is at the same time a badge of the disciples of 
/Esculapius and regarded as a symbol of healing 
force and regenerative energy. The serpents in the 
sand, according to Exodus, severely injured the 
Children of Israel while journeying through the 
Wilderness to Canaan, but the antidote to their af- 
fliction was supplied by Moses pointing them to an 
uplifted image of the cause of their affliction. The 




serpent essentially is the carnal or sense nature in 
us all, which must be upraised and transmuted; it 
therefore becomes our initiatory discipline to elevate 
each his own serpentine attributes, and by so doing 
accomplish Magnum Opus, the mighty work of al- 
chemical transmutation, not in an external sense of 
converting metals into* gold, but in the esoteric sense 
of gaining perfect victory over all animality. 



To the average reader of the Bible to-day — and 
that marvelous collection of ancient literature is cer- 
tainly undergoing careful reconsideration — there are 
only 2 possible views of such stories as that of the 
Deluge and many other startling narratives, viz., 
that they must either be rejected as mere legends of 
an unscientific age or else be regarded from the 
standpoint of esoteric canons of elucidation. The 
Fall of Man we have already incidentally considered, 
and we think sufficiently to suggest a meeting place 
between the 2 seemingly opposed doctrines of the 
Fall and the Rise of humanity, concepts w r hich at first 
seem inevitably irreconcilable. From the Kabbalis- 
tic, as from the Rosicrucian and other kindred points 
of view, the apparent discrepancy melts into har- 
mony as though we were gazing upon 2 sides of a 
single shield, each side decorated with an inscrip- 
tion, one relating to spiritual involution, the other 


Biblical Traditions 127 

to physical evolution. The poet Whittier's famous 

"Step by step since time began 
We see the steady gain of man," 

refer to evolutionary development on the form side 
of our existence. The fall of humanity out of orig- 
inal innocence is by no means inconsistent with this 
cheering concept. The Kabbalah, in common with 
all Hermetic writings, takes the individual as a type 
of the race and includes all human experiences in a 
sublime comprehensive synthesis, expressible in the 
wide-embracing phrase : As above, so below, and 
as without, so within. Involution pertains to 
the descent of spirit into matter; evolution is the 
process whereby incarnated spirit makes its way on- 
ward and upward to self-conscious celestial blessed- 
ness. That particularly prominent emblem, the 
double triangle, which holds the place of honor in 
Judaism which the cross holds in Christianity and 
the crescent in Mohammedanism, expresses in a per- 
fect symbol, the idea of equipoise, and when the 
sacred letters denoting the Divine Name are placed 
within it, it fully conveys the idea of the immortal 
spiritual entity and its outward and inward mani- 
festations. The descent of spirit suggests no trip 
resulting in a sort of tumble down a ladder, but a 
gradual process of orderly descent. But whether 

128 Biblical Traditions 

we believe in a fall or in a descent we have to face 
the fact that humanity is in a sense "down and out," 
and it is for us to do all in our power to work our 
way out of our present low estate by climbing up- 
ward to celestial eminences. It cannot be unimpor- 
tant whether we believe in a "disgraceful fall" or 
in a coming downward and outward for experi- 
mental purposes, for the first idea is utterly depress- 
ing while the latter is highly invigorating. It is the 
most positive duty of all who have a definitely en- 
couraging and inspiring message to deliver to hu- 
manity to give it unhesitatingly in these days when 
many are struggling in the morass of pessimism or 
else laboring to reconcile harsh theological dogmas 
with scientific revelations. We can easily under- 
stand the Kabbalistic and Rosicrucian attitude to- 
ward a past age when humanity was much more 
palpably guided and upheld by spiritual overseers 
than now, because of the requirements of racial as 
well as of individual infancy which are being grad- 
ually outgrown. A child of 18 months must be pro- 
vided for in all ways, while the same child having 
attained to the age of 18 years may be fairly sent 
out into the world to earn a living. Nothing is easier 
than to protect infants from falling by taking entire 
charge of them, but we cannot treat young men and 
women in any similar manner, and if we could and 

Kabbalistically Considered 129 

did we should most certainly arrest their physical, 
intellectual and moral development. 

The Kabbalah, in common with practically all 
esoteric literature, presupposes a life for humanity 
prior to earthly generation, not altogether unlike 
Maeterlinck's conception in "The Bluebird," where 
he presents a mystical vision of souls awaiting ter- 
restrial embodiment. 

The Koran, which tells us that each individual's 
destiny is fixed before birth, is not utterly fatalistic 
by any means, and Jewish sages have declared that 
all things are regulated by Divine Providence except 
the use that we may make of our opportunities. 
This view harmonizes many conflicting theories sat- 
isfactorily, and it is largely borne out by the united 
facts of inner consciousness and outward experience, 
for we all feel a sense of responsibility for how we 
disport ourselves in the midst of circumstances which 
seem to be in no way of our own ordaining. 

While the Kabbalah has a great deal to say about 
a spirit of evil as opposed to good, we need to re- 
member that the view of evil taken by all enlightened 
Kabbalists is twofold, evil being mentioned both 
positively as an inversion of good and negatively as 
a privation of good. Nakedness denotes destitution, 
simple lack of raiment, while acting in disobedience 
to a divine direction implies inversion of faculty. It 
appears self-evident that these 2 kinds of evil are 

130 Biblical Traditions 

within us to-day, not in the absolute but certainly in 
the relative sense, and it is only by admitting these 
facts and resolutely determining to vanquish the so- 
licitations of the lower self that we can rise to a 
realization of our inherent spiritual potencies. You 
cannot brace a young man or woman to become a 
victor over seductions by telling one who is setting 
forth upon a life career that there are no tempta- 
tions to be met, but you may legitimately term them 
illusory in the last analysis, because they proceed from 
ignorance and from false valuations. Whether we 
believe that we have fallen into carnality or that we 
are rising out of it, we are assuredly convinced, if 
we think in the least deeply, that we are now being 
urged by the indwelling spirit to outgrow our sensual 
impulses and mystically transmute the serpent into 
the eagle. It is often urged, from the pragmatic or 
utilitarian standpoint, and not without much show 
of reason, that so long as we attain desired results 
it matters not how we may have reached them. This 
contention, carried to its logical extreme, results 
finally in the dangerous declaration, "the end jus- 
tifies the means/' which is both a truth and a fallacy 
according to the sense in which the sentence is em- 
ployed. The Kabbalah with its uncompromising 
stand for undiluted righteousness is careful to insist 
that all means employed in the outworking of the 
world-plan are righteous means, therefore it is al- 

Kabbalisiically Considered 131 

ways holding up before us the penalties which follow 
upon transgression of a holy law which it is our 
privilege to obey gladly and completely. The Kab- 
balah does not postulate human weakness or sinful- 
ness, but takes a decidedly heroic view of human 
nature; it therefore does not hesitate to enforce a 
doctrine of consequences which are commonly styled 
rewards and punishments, — terms which are often 
grievously misleading, because they convey to most 
people an arbitrary conferment of reward and in- 
fliction of penalty which can at any time be changed 
by Almighty fiat in answer to the supplications of 
pleading humanity. Why did God permit the ex- 
pulsion from Eden, the Flood, and many other ter- 
rible calamities which have overtaken the human 
race, are queries constantly raised, and seemingly 
very difficult to answer, but only because certain 
fundamental fallacies hold back the average ques- 
tioner from perceiving the true answer. The Kab- 
balah knows nothing of an angry, impetuous or ca- 
pricious Deity, and therefore never attributes acts 
of vengeance or petulance to the Most High. But, 
pursues the caviller, if you do not believe that God 
becomes angry you deny the plain statements of the 
Bible, an objection to which we dare to offer a de- 
cided negative. The Bible is largely a record of hu- 
man experiences ; its letter, therefore, is written in 
accommodated language, entirely true to human ex- 

132 Biblical Traditions 

perience but not declarative of the real attitude of 
the Divine Mind. It is not God who changes, but 
man's view of Deity that alters, and it seems im- 
possible to conceive of a growing humanity while 
excluding the thought of changing human concepts. 
It is not "the Thing in Itself" that varies, but our 
idea thereof, consequently it appears to those who 
are in the condition called the state of "the wicked" 
that God is continually wrath with them, but let 
them turn from their wickedness and God's wrath 
is no longer a concept of their imagination. Our 
minds are like inverted mirrors when we are in 
error; we behold things upside down, as objects 
are reflected in a stream. Did we not correct the 
evidence of our external vision when gazing at re- 
flections w r e should invariably state the position of 
things in reverse order, and it could not be other- 
wise. The original Christian doctrine of Atone- 
ment was not foreign to Kabbalistic teaching, for 
it is found stated in the New Testament that "God 
was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself," 
not Himself unto the world. 

It is this rightly inverted viewpoint that makes 
Kabbalistic teaching so wholly acceptable, in the 
main, to scientific thinkers and true philosophers 
who read all histories in a wider light than that of 
their merest letter and most particular applications. 

Considering this external world in the light of an 

Kabbalisticall]) Considered 133 

experimental station where souls are (so to speak) 
"tried out" we have little if any difficulty in accept- 
ing the essential doctrine underlying the following 
impressive statement from Waite's remarkable vol- 
ume (page 93) : "As regards what theology would 
call the matter of the sin there is no need to add that 
the apple is not understood literally. It is called 
sometimes the fruit of the vine, that is to say, grapes ; 
but this is a veil also and is to be understood as the 
explanation of a certain mystery of knowledge, 
which belongs to the domain of sex. These are the 
fruits which are said elsewhere to be agreeable, on 
the authority of Genesis, but they trouble the spirits 
of those who make bad use of them, as Noah did in 
the case of his own vine. He who rode upon the 
serpent, the Tempter Spirit or Samael, who is said 
to have descended from heaven so mounted, as if he 
were an accredited messenger, approached Eve and 
testified that the Holy One created the world by 
help of the Tree of Knowledge; that by eating 
thereof, and so only, was He able to create the 
world ; and that if the woman ate of it, on her own 
part, she would attain the same power." 

This extraordinary quotation seems to throw some 
light on the Satan (Accuser) of the Book of Job, 
which is a singularly fine specimen of Hebrew epic 
poetry. Another excerpt from "The Secret Doc- 
trine in Israel" (page 95) reads as follows: "Re- 

134 Biblical Traditions 

curring to the substitution of a mystical vine for 
the apple-tree, another tradition certifies that Eve 
pressed grapes and gave the juice to her husband. 
The opening of their eyes was to behold all the ills 
of the world." 

Regarding Cain and Abel the Kabbalah states that 
the image of Abel was from above and that of Cain 
from below. There is much resemblance between 
the teachings of the Kabbalah and the doctrines of 
Swedenborg, especially as regards the typical char- 
acters in Genesis being "churches" rather than single 

Turning now to the account of the Deluge we 
find in the Kabbalah a great deal of curious specula- 
tion and secret doctrine relating to some curious in- 
tercourse between spiritual beings and terrestrialized 
humanity, but those commentators who put as ra- 
tionalistic an interpretation as possible upon these 
legends see in them only a forcible argument against 
the intermarriage of Jews with Gentiles, and in a 
wider sense, of the elect with the profane. It ap- 
pears perfectly clear that the Kabbalah regards phys- 
ical generation as an evidence of descent into a 
lower condition than the primitive estate of human- 
ity, but the descent having been accomplished, and. 
it having become necessary to agree to it, the mar- 
riage covenant must be established and relations be- 
tween the sexes kept as pure as possible. 

Kabbalisticall}) Considered 135 

According to the Zohar, humanity gradually trav- 
elled a downward path until a definite "mystery of 
iniquity" was reached, when an overwhelming phys- 
ical catastrophe became necessary to rid the planet of 
the grossest of its impurities and afford the race an 
opportunity for taking a fresh start upward. 

Intermingled with a perplexing mass of compli- 
cated mystery, we find in the Zoharic account of the 
Deluge a considerable amount of sound philosophy, 
as, for instance, when we are told that the Holy 
Land was not flooded. Literally such a statement 
is not necessarily improbable, for we have no au- 
thentic history of any completely universal inunda- 

The story of Noah's Ark viewed esoterically is 
highly suggestive of that symmetrical development 
of human character necessary to secure exemption 
from calamity. The Ark must be made of a strong 
and enduring wood, and it must be built of 3 stories 
and a cubit above. Here we have plainly suggested 
the idea of 4 planes of consciousness — Physical, 
Mental, Moral, Spiritual. As there must be a stair- 
way from one landing to another, and the 7-hued 
rainbow is prominently mentioned in connection with 
the establishment of a Divine Covenant with Noah, 
we can, at least poetically, describe the Ark of Safety 
as having a red first story and a yellow 2nd story 
reached by an orange stairway; then a green stair- 

136 Biblical Traditions 

way leading to a blue 3rd story, and finally a violet 
observatory reached by an indigo ladder. 

The character of Noah, and his alleged drunken- 
ness, is interestingly and mildly dealt with. Noah 
plants a mystical vineyard and partakes freely of its 
produce, but his determination all through is to try 
experiments with a view to discovering wherein con- 
sists the sin of the world, and if possible to find a 
remedy. Noah's humiliating state while intoxicated 
refers only to his destitution of adequate knowledge, 
even after much research, and this ignorance was 
exposed by his failure to have found the sought-for 

Turning now to the Babel legend we find the 
Zohar by no means silent concerning the confusion 
of tongues. The original single sacred language was 
that of universal symbolism, which remained intact 
so long as unity of purpose prevailed among those 
familiar with the hieroglyphics, but directly rivalry 
and jealousy crept in, confusion of speech and am- 
biguity of interpretation so far resulted that the 
work of tower and temple building was frustrated 
and the elaborate schemes of the ambitious designers 
were brought to naught. Here we find a close par- 
allel with the Oriental doctrine of the sin of sep- 
arateness, which only means mutual antagonism. 

Comparatively few persons, apart from special 
philosophers, ever discriminate at all clearly between 

Kabbalistically Considered 137 

distinctiveness and separateness, yet in our common- 
est speech we readily suggest the accurate shades of 
meaning as, for example, when we say that 2 per- 
sons have had a separation and yet we know that 
they are no further apart geographically than when 
they were on terms of close mutual friendship. 

To build the Tower or Temple of Solomon neces- 
sitates perfectly co-operative action on the part of 
spiritually federated workers; the Tower of Babel, 
which can never attain completeness, is the synonym 
of amalgamated discord. 

It is delightful to find in the course of our Kab- 
balistic studies that this curious mystical work is 
thoroughly abreast with the best modern ideas of 
universal language, and much else that bears closely 
on the practical unification of humanity. We read 
in the Zohar that "a day will dawn when the Lord 
will change the tongues of all peoples into a single 
pure tongue, so that all may invoke His Holy Name 
and all pass under His Yoke in one spirit. ,, This 
prediction is virtually made during the recitation of 
the Olenu, which forms an important part of every 
Jewish liturgy. There is no dogmatic unanimity in 
Israel regarding ways and means, but the prevailing 
sentiment is universally the same throughout Jewry 
as concerns the final outcome. Judaism holds within 


Biblical Traditions 

it the vital germs of universal religion — the Unity 
of God and the Solidarity of Humanity. 

Talmud or Midrash may appear very external and 
excessively ritualistic, but Kabbalah delves deeply 
into the heart of Israel's veiled and guarded mys- 
teries and introduces us, though not always very 
clearly, to a magnificent Arcana. 



The Sacrifice of Isaac, commemorated by Jews 
throughout the world on the first day of the month 
Tishri, called Rosh Hashana and Day of Memorial 
in Jewish calendars, marks the birth of Judaism 
because of the emphasis placed upon a spiritual vs. 
a carnal idea of sacrifice. All barbaric peoples of- 
fered literal human sacrifices, and some savage tribes 
continue the practise still. Abraham, considered 
historically, was probably a Chaldean Chief about to 
conform to the barbaric usage of his place and time; 
but a bright spiritual light broke in upon his con- 
sciousness and he came to perceive that the true 
offering of sacrifice is by consecration to high ideals, 
never by the shedding of literal blood. Even the 
grossly carnal mind, which fails to see a spiritual 
significance in any narrative, ought to be able, if 
endowed with even the most ordinary reasoning 
ability, to see in the story of Abraham and Isaac a 
radical departure from all belief in the efficacy or 
legitimacy of human sacrifice. Even the sacrifice 


140 Abraham, Melchisedec, 

of animals, — against which only vegetarians have a 
right to protest, — was so restricted in Israel that the 
unblemished beasts, which were alone available for 
sacrificial purposes, were to be offered only under 
very definite restrictions. Practically the whole of 
Jewish prophetical literature discards the literal prac- 
tise of sacrificing in to to and urges only spiritual 
offerings. This is essentially the Kabbalistic or 
esoteric view, which raises and internalizes the whole 
matter to such an extent as to do away completely 
with final vestiges of barbarity. 

If animal food is to form any part of human diet 
it is surely desirable that animals slain for food 
should be in the healthiest condition possible, there- 
fore kosher meat is preferable to trefa; but when we 
are out of kitchens and eating places and engaged in 
spiritual contemplation in a sanctuary we ought to 
be prepared to discard literal interpretations and 
behold something of the sublime inner verities which 
external narratives enshrine. 

The Zoharic view of Abraham and his spiritual 
mission is intensely interesting for all who are seek- 
ing to discover something below the surface of the 
familiar literal narrative. The Call of Abraham 
viewed Kabbalistically is a spiritual summons to 
depart utterly from old ways of thought and action 
and enter upon a truly regenerate life. By so doing 
this illustrious patriarch becomes a "Father of the 

Moses and the Law 141 

Faithful" and heads an Order whose intention it is 
to enlighten the entire world as far as possible. 
We see now something of the original idea of divine 
election, for Israel in Abraham is called to fulfil an 
educational mission, that in Isaac and his posterity 
all families of the earth may eventually be blessed. 
The Kabbalah tells us that Abraham was endowed 
with a spirit of wisdom far beyond the ordinary, 
and this enabled him to accomplish a mystic journey 
from his native land to a new country, the situation 
of which was spiritually revealed to him. The mys- 
tical interpretation of the command, "Go into a land 
that I will show thee," is that the man who obeyed 
it would henceforth occupy himself with spiritual 
pursuits and become a spiritual leader of humanity. 
It however appears that Kabbalists, in common with 
all Israelites, have long regarded Palestine as a 
specially sacred country and the true centre or heart 
of this planet. The career of Abraham in Egypt 
opens up a wide field for speculation, for in all senses 
of the word Egypt is the antithesis of Palestine and 
Christian equally with Jewish Scriptures treat this 
marvellous country esoterically as well as literally. 
Such passages appear in the New Testament as "Out 
of Egypt have I called my Son" and "In Egypt and 
in Sodom where the Lord was crucified." The 
Biblical accounts of Egypt are diverse and convey 
glimpses of the land of the Nile during many stages 

142 Abraham, Melchisedec, 

of its fluctuating history. At one time Egypt is 
presented as a centre of light and liberty, and at 
another period as a land given over to demoraliza- 
tion and slavery. 

If this statement of varying conditions is applied 
mystically to the external in contradistinction from 
the internal man it is assuredly an instructive simile, 
for the outer man is subject to varying control, 
sometimes swayed from without and sometimes 
directed from within. But far more mysterious and 
spiritually significant than Abraham is Melchisedec 
to whom he offers a sacred oblation. 

The mystery surrounding Melchisedec is actually 
impenetrable if we regard this marvellous character 
simply as a historic personage, for it is stated that 
this "King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, 
has neither father nor mother, beginning of days 
nor end of life." There are 2 senses in which this 
statement is credible : it may refer to an illustrious 
Order of immemorial antiquity and it may also re- 
late to the spiritual entity regarded as an immortal 
unit, a pure simple, uncompounded and everlasting. 
The 110th psalm says, "Thou are a priest forever 
after the order of Melchisedec," and in the Epistle 
to the Hebrews the author draws a sharp and vivid 
contrast between the Order of Melchisedec and the 
Order of Aaron. According to the Kabbalah the 

Moses and the Law 143 

former has to do solely with internal and the latter 
with external affairs. 

The Abrahamic Covenant, involving literal phys- 
ical circumcision, necessitates ceremonial observance 
and obedience, but a covenant of a purely spiritual 
nature does not necessarily take any outward ritual 
into account. The agelong controversy over Leviti- 
cal and Prophetical Judaism is not ended yet, though 
it was at its height in Palestine 1 8 or 19 centuries 
ago. This controversy was acute when some of the 
Pauline Epistles were written, as internal evidence 
abundantly proves. Saul of Tarsus after espousing 
an esoteric form of Christianity, in which we find 
a commingling of Hebraic and Hellenic elements, 
seeks to settle disputes between Mystics and Ritual- 
ists by deciding that all external observances must 
be left to individual discretion, and when one is 
"in Christ" and has become "a new creation" he is 
no longer subject to any external law. 

That there is a certain amount of danger to mor- 
ality in an utter disregard of outer ceremonial has 
always been admitted, and for that reason wise 
teachers of the esoteric schools have always insisted 
that it is only subsequent to some very definite spir- 
itual illumination that one can safely become a law 
unto himself. In Waite's remarkable book from 
which we have already quoted, we find the following 
interesting reference to the significance of the Cov- 

144 Abraham, Melchisedec, 

enant (page 119) : "The Sign of the Covenant con- 
stitutes the foundation of the Sacred Name and of 
the Mystery of Faith — the root of the notion being 
probably the shape of the letter Yod with which the 
Name commences, or this at least is the material 
root." Then proceeding to a far more interior defi- 
nition, the same author tells us "By the fact of cir- 
cumcision man enters under the wings of the 
Shekinah." Now as it is well known that the literal 
rite is only a simple sanitary surgical operation, per- 
formed frequently by Gentile surgeons who attach 
to it no spiritual or religious significance, a person 
thus circumcised is not thereby admitted into the 
House of Israel ; it stands to reason that something 
far deeper than an outward act was originally in- 
tended by The Sign of the Covenant. No uncir- 
cumcised person can lawfully eat the Passover. But 
as the literal rite pertains to males only, and in all 
truly esoteric fellowships qualified males and females 
are placed on a footing of complete equality, we see 
at once that all the elements in the essential Cov- 
enant pertain to a spiritual realm with which, how- 
ever, the external world can be brought into com- 
plete representative correspondence. 

Concerning Melchisedec, to whom Abraham does 
obeisance, Professor Piazzi Smyth, at one time As- 
tronomer Royal of Scotland, says in his extraor- 
dinary volume, "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyra- 

Moses and the Law 145 

mid/' that he was the divinely inspired agent em- 
ployed as architect of that stupendous, awe-inspiring 
pile. Theosophically viewed this assertion is not 
difficult to credit because the Order of Melchisedec 
closely corresponds with the Great White Lodge of 
Adepts who possess a knowledge of the abiding 
Mysteries far beyond the loftiest imagination of the 
uninitiated religious as well as unreligious world. 

Addressing our attention now to Moses, whose 
name in Hebrew, Moshe, means drawn up out of 
the water, we find by reference to the Zohar that his 
career begins and ends in mystery. Kabbalists give 
honor to the tradition that "Shekinah reposed on 
the nuptial bed of his parents/' but there is no sug- 
gestion of any "miraculous" conception. It is fur- 
ther declared that Shekinah never deserted him 
throughout his life of 120 years, and when this was 
ended he was transported by angels to Paradise. 
No definitely consistent stories are related of what 
became of his physical remains, if there were any. 
Some traditions assert that his physical body was 
dissipated and therefore none remained to find and 
bury. Other traditions declare that Moses was the 
first man on earth who attained to moral perfection, 
but this is disputed ; the general concensus of agree- 
ment being that he was not perfect, but approached 
more nearly to perfection than any other prophet. 

146 Abraham, Melchisedec, 

Moses Maimonides, who compiled the 13 Articles 
of the Jewish Faith in the 12th century of the present 
era. says that Moses was the greatest of all the 
prophets who arose in Israel, for he beheld God's 
similitude. Much quibbling has been indulged 
around this saying, which probably means that he 
was a very prince of anthropologists ; for if human- 
ity is spiritually in the Divine Image, one who has 
truly fathomed human nature has beheld God's 
similitude. It is stated in the Zohar that Moses was 
directly illumined by interior enlightenment instead 
of being only the recipient of truth conveyed meas- 
urably through angelic ministrations. 

The original root of the distinctively Mosaic idea 
of an elect people with a mission to fulfil on behalf 
of all humanity, is clearly traceable in the assertion 
that it is by Moses that all nations have received a 
knowledge of the way of salvation which is indeed 
through faith, but faith according to Israelitish 
teaching is not belief in any doctrines, but fealty or 
fidelity, which constitutes righteousness ; a righteous 
man therefore is not a "believer" but one who mor- 
ally "walks uprightly." 

While there is an outer Law which it is desirable 
that all mankind should know and observe, there is 
also an inner Law which Moses communicated to 
the "very elect." The letter of the Law "killeth," 

Moses and the Law 147 

but the spirit "giveth life," according to a New Tes- 
tament authority. 

The Pentateuch read in its letter only certainly 
does have a great deal to say about slaying animals 
for sacrifices, and also it ordains a death penalty for 
men guilty of serious offences ; but when the spirit- 
ual meaning is unveiled a totally different idea is 
conveyed to the studious reader. Great attention is 
given in the Kabbalah to the Oral Tradition, which 
is never committed to writing but handed on from 
one generation to another by teachers who in turn 
appoint successors to the Oral ministry. 

It is said that Moses ascended Mount Sinai clad 
in the vesture of Shekinah, that is how he ascended 
safely at a time when no other dared approach even 
to the mountain's base. 

Students of Occultism, and all interested in the 
fascinating question of a possible protecting shield 
of aura, will see at a glance what deep significance 
may attach to the Exodus story, which needs to be 
regarded far more as an allegory than as a literal 

The 91st psalm throws much light on immunity, 
and modern science is wrestling with the problem 
of how to attain and maintain a permanently aseptic 
condition. Danger and safety are purely relative 
terms, relating entirely to varying degrees of sus- 
ceptibility and the reverse. 

148 Abraham, Melchisedec, 

A Kabbalistic tradition affirms that when Moses 
brought down the Law to the people, Israel was re- 
clothed with a cuirass formed from the letters of 
the Sacred Name which was the protection of Adam 
and Eve while in a state of unsullied innocence. In 
order to obtain the proffered blessings of the Holy 
Covenant Israel must take the solemn vow, "All 
that the Lord hath commanded we will do." Sancti- 
fication was impossible without complete obedience. 
We can now gain a clear view of the difference be- 
tween Ceremonial and Ethical Judaism, though the 
2 are by no means essentially at variance. 

The Zohar gives a description of the 2 Tables 
of Stone on which were engraved the 10 Command- 
ments which is positively unique and has doubtless 
an important esoteric meaning. It is related that 
Tables were given to Moses on the Sabbath and that 
they were "created prior to the formation of the 
world by the coagulation of the sacred dew which 
is said to fall on the Garden of Apples. They were 
written before and behind, and were symbolized by 
the leaves of proposition." One account describes 
them as transparent while another speaks of them as 
containing writing resembling "black fire on white 
fire." The writing in front must be read from be- 
hind and that behind must be deciphered from 

Moses and the Larv 149 

Concerning the breaking of the original Tables, 
the Kabbalah does not admit that Moses broke them, 
but they were broken, and the letters disappeared, 
on account of the people's unworthiness, so that if 
anyone picked up the scattered fragments he would 
find nothing engraved thereon. The shattered Tables 
are said to have contained the Oral together with 
the Written Law, but the bulk of the people was 
not worthy to possess so priceless an inheritance, 
therefore the Inner Law returned to Heaven, but the 
Written Law was given again on new tablets that 
remained unbroken and from which the letters did 
not disappear. It was only into concealment that 
the inmost teaching w r ent; it was therefore perpet- 
ually preserved as a secret tradition in Israel ac- 
cessible to the worthy though completely veiled from 
the unworthy. The Veil over the face of Moses 
which he wore only because of the inability of the 
people to gaze on his unscreened countenance is 
hereby adequately explained. 

The strangely disfiguring horns which mar 
Michael Angelo's famous painting of Moses are due 
to a misinterpretation of the radiant beams of light 
which streamed from his face after the descent from 
Sinai, and in a much more interior sense this lumin- 
ous emanation refers to the effulgence of the Law 
which must be veiled, as to its interior significance, 
from the mental vision of a people who would be 

150 Abraham, Melchisedec, 

only dazzled and confused, and therefore not edified, 
by a disclosure of its interior meanings beyond their 
power to comprehend. It ought not to be difficult 
to discover the why and wherefore of an inner and 
an outer doctrine if we do but take into account the 
necessity for giving graded instruction to pupils as 
they are prepared to receive it, "line upon line and 
precept upon precept." The outer Law is both eth- 
ical and ceremonial ; the inner Law deals with spirit- 
ual problems, comparable with higher mathematics. 

The Zohar compares the traditional law which has 
proceeded out of the written law, to an ass, the 
typical burden-bearer, and many are the figurative 
allusions to Messiah riding upon an ass, particularly 
upon a white ass. This symbol teaches that in all 
external things there will be manifested an equity in 
judgment which will bring the external world and 
all its concerns into complete alignment with the 
loftiest spiritual ideals. 

"Speak ye who ride on white asses, ye who sit in 
judgment," is a significant quotation from the 5th 
chapter of Judges. 

Concerning the Oral Law we are told that though 
it is the source of every imaginable blessing to the 
upright it would act as a poison to the unfaithful, 
therefore it is mercifully withheld from them. Noth- 
ing can be more readily demonstrated than the per- 
nicious results of misuse of many things in them- 

Moses and the Law 151 

selves excellent, and we surely need not to be told 
that in the handling of instruments and chemicals 
due preparedness is an absolute necessity. There 
are many Kabbalistic sayings which quickly throw 
light upon the enormous difference between spirit 
and letter. The following is a good sample illus- 
tration : There is a tradition that angels buried the 
body of Moses outside the Holy Land, and that no 
man knoweth the place of his sepulchre. This sepul- 
chre allegorically alludes to the Mishna, which is 
called "a maidservant who takes the place of her 
mistress. " The Secret Doctrine was interned in the 
Written Word and remained with the 70 Elders 
who expounded it secretly. Moses never waned in 
strength as years rolled by, therefore when he made 
his farewell address to the Congregation, though 
he had reached the ripe age of 120 years, his vigor 
was youthful and his vision unimpaired. All who 
pay heed to a doctrine of Correspondence, such as 
Sw r edenborg enunciated and elucidated, will readily 
unravel much of the Kabbalistic mystery and they 
will not be confused with the mingling of outer his- 
tory with esoteric doctrine, because they will never 
lose sight of the Hermetic axiom, "As Within so 
Without." A reasonable consideration of Kabbalis- 
tic methods of conveying instruction soon sweeps 
away the fog which obscures practical metaphysical 
teaching from the comprehension of a multitude of 

1 52 A braham, Melchisedec, 

people who are seemingly too dense to see that there 
can be no outward effect without an adequate in- 
terior cause; and likewise that every hidden cause 
presses forward into corresponding exterior effect. 

There is a prophecy that Moses will reappear on 
earth at the end of a long age, he having already 
received the mystical degree termed Binah, but not 
vet the still higher degree Chokmah. The Zohar 
declares that Moses did not die as the result of any 
transgression but through the fulfilment of a su- 
preme mystery, and the same tradition declares also 
that his successor, Joshua, was similarly free from 
active sin and from its consequences. Lifting as 
far as we can the veil of allegory which shrouds the 
tenets of the Kabbalah we find in whatever direction 
we turn a radiant hope held out to humanity that 
through the mysterious processes of spiritual trans- 
mutation the serpent and all it signifies shall become 
in deed and truth the means whereby an erring, 
because imperfect, race shall attain through sym- 
metrical development of all powers and faculties to 
a Paradise of blessedness far exceeding in joy and 
wisdom any primeval Eden out of which a primitive 
people were expelled. The true Sanctuarists , or 
Ilhiminati, are the agents by which universal re- 
demption is to be expected. 



Though, as we have pointed out repeatedly in 
previous chapters, the Kabbalah aims at a spiritual 
or mystical view of all subjects with which it deals, 
Kabbalists as a rule never attempt to cast discredit 
on external narratives. The 3 Temples which rose 
and fell in Jerusalem are allowed therefore to have 
been material structures as well as glyphs of interior 
realities far transcending all exterior erections. In 
the florid Oriental metaphor with which Kabbalistic 
literature abounds we are told that the inner sanc- 
tuary of the Temple constitutes the heart of the 
world and that Shekinah dwells therein as a faithful 
wife abides continually with her virtuous husband. 
The design for the Temple was drawn in Heaven 
and shown to David, by whom it was shown to 
Solomon. The Temple was erected on 7 pillars and 
the craftsmen followed exactly the divinely revealed 
design point by point until the structure was com- 
pletely finished. There was a sense in which the 
work was self-executed, because the builders were 


154 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

led by inspiration to do precisely as the unseen Arch- 
itect intended. The Temple was erected to fully 
externalize the supernal union between God and 
Israel. The various sections of the mighty struc- 
ture set forth the idea of the earth inhabited by 
various Peoples encompassing the Holy City, the 
abode of Israel. Concerning the 2 earlier Temples 
than the one which enjoyed considerable longevity 
the Zohar states that the 1st was not perfectly con- 
structed because of the sin of the people in the Wil- 
derness, and the 2nd was imperfect on account of 
sin at the time of Ezra. Going still further, the 
Kabbalah informs us that the truly abiding Temple, 
which can never be destroyed, is indeed "a house 
not made with hands," consequently it remains un- 
affected amid all terrestrial permutations. The 
Temple of Solomon was symbolic of penitence and 
prayer, and its overthrow is regarded as a result 
of impenitence by the strictly orthodox in Israel, 
though among "liberal" Jews there are many who 
shed no tears over its destruction, therefore they 
celebrate no fast of Ab, a day of great lamentation 
among those who adhere to the strict letter of un- 
compromising orthodoxy. Taken in their exterior 
meanings only many Kabbalistic references to the 
Temples are far from clear, but it requires no very 
wide acquaintance with the significance of meta- 
phor to discern a deep interior meaning worthy of 

of the Messiah 155 

the highest regard. The figurative references to 
"sun" and "moon" may throw much light on the 
obscure passage in Joshua which states that he com- 
manded the sun and moon to stand still and they 
stood still a whole day. The sun is always signifi- 
cant of the source whence humanity derives illumina- 
tion, spiritual and physical alike; the moon typifies 
earthly regnancy which shines only with borrowed 
light. In the Zohar we are told that "the sun turned 
away from the moon and enlightened it no longer; 
then there was no day without sufferings and lamen- 
tations." But no sooner have we heard the wail 
over what is lost than our attention is joyfully 
turned to better days to come, even to the Mes- 
sianic era in which "the moon shall resume its pri- 
mal light." (Here are plain allusions, though figura- 
tively conveyed, to a temporary separation of civil 
government from spiritual direction, to be followed 
by a resanctification of all secular affairs. We ex- 
tract the following paragraphs from A. E. Waite's 
elaborate account of these traditions and prophecies 
(pages 137-140) to give our readers an exact illus- 
tration of the curiously involved manner in which 
Kabbalists have foretold the coming of a glorious 
event which they are by no means alone in jubilantly 
anticipating. "The Holy One will remember His 
people Israel and the Temple shall be rebuilt. For- 
merly it was based on severity and wrath, but it 

tUi ir 

9t< 9+4 4 

156 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

will be restored in charity and will be founded 
thereon. Meanwhile, since the destruction of the 
sanctuary here below, the Holy One swore never to 
enter the Jerusalem above until Israel returned into 
the Jerusalem below. No blessings have gone forth 
either in the world above or in that which is below, 
for these worlds depend on one another. The con- 
solation of the elect is however that, in the absence 
of a place of sacrifice, devotion to the study of the 
Law will bring the forgiveness of sin more readily 
than the burnt offerings of old." 

To the diligent student of the implications of 
peculiar language the foregoing mode of expression 
suggests a vital Truth, viz., that while sacrificing 
animals encouraged an idea of vicarious offerings, 
a study of the Law necessitated individual effort on 
the part of students, therefore greater enlighten- 
ment must follow upon the latter than upon the for- 
mer course of action. Whichever way we look at 
the declaration we cannot fail to note its luminous 
prophecy of a future more glorious than the past, 
and not only for Israel but through Israel for all the 
human race. To the zealous Zionist the literal re- 
building of Jerusalem and recolonizing of Palestine 
must mean much, but there are many earnest and 
devout Jews who care but little for the actual re- 
building of any city and should there be a general 
flight to Palestine there would be vast numbers of 

j[&Jt, svi*f<* 

of the Messiah 157 

influential Israelites who would not join in it. In 
the spiritual meaning of the terms Zion simply sig- 
nifies an abode of holiness and Jerusalem an abode 
of peace, therefore the Law goeth forth from Jeru- 
salem and from Zion, figuratively speaking, and 
from nowhere else, because peace and holiness are 
inseparable and where these are absent humanity 
cannot grasp divine ideals so as to fulfil them in ac- 
tual expression. The mystical Temple is an organic 
human federation in which every member occupies 
the place of a particular stone assigned to a special 
niche. When this Temple is completed on earth the 
most glowing predictions of the most ardent 
prophets will be realized, for in that Lesser Holy 
Assembly, corresponding with the Greater Holy 
Assembly in spheres unseen by mortal vision, the 
Divine Will will be literally done on earth as in the 
Heavens. The coming of Messiah is regarded by Kab- 
balists as an initiatory or inaugural event. Messiah 
is conceived of as "God's righteous servant," the 
title, therefore, is sometimes applied to a single indi- 
vidual and at other times to a holy convocation made 
up of Illuminati. The spiritual Israel, through 
whom the entire world is to be regenerated, is com- 
posed of the righteous of all nations, not of race- 
Jews exclusively. The word "Jew" is sometimes 
used in a far more than ordinarily comprehensive 
sense, and when so employed it is taken to designate 

158 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

any man or woman who has attained to a realization 
of truth in a fuller degree than common, and who 
is included in the mystical organization of the truly 
faithful. Messianic prophecies have often been in- 
terpreted expansively as referring to a period when 
general enlightenment will be the rule, but as lead- 
ership is never a negligible subject we can readily 
perceive how much nearer together in essential 
agreement are 2 schools of thought usually supposed 
to be at total variance. Though some over-zealous 
Christian students of Kabbalah have stated that the 
Zohar makes mention of a Messiah who has ap- 
peared already, such an inference seems unwarrant- 
able from the exact wording of the several texts, all 
of which unmistakably refer to a Golden Age which 
has not yet come, and which is to be a period of 
Messianic regnancy. The elect are said to hope al- 
ways for the advent of the Man of Holiness, but 
here again we are confronted with the evident legiti- 
macy of a broader rather than of a narrower inter- 
pretation, for all Jewish literature abounds in cor- 
porate descriptions and rarely if ever makes it evi- 
dent that the advent of only a single personality is 
predicted in any prophecy. 

The burden of agelong foretelling is that through 
the Sanctuarists or the inner mystic element in Israel, 
the whole human race shall be immeasurably blessed. 
The Virgin (young woman) of the 7th chapter of 

of the Messiah 159 

Isaiah who conceives and bears Emanu-El is a figure 
of a holy nation whose pure offspring is to rule the 
entire world in righteousness. Though the singular 
Man is a word often introduced, the noun is as much 
plural as singular in English as in Hebrew, there- 
fore the "man more precious than fine gold" may 
refer to a holy company quite as readily as to any 
one peculiarly illustrious individual. During the 
Messianic period, probably coeval with its very com- 
mencement, conversions to the faith of Israel will 
be very numerous; this does not,, however, need to 
be taken ^narrowly, for it is only confession of ths 
absolute unity of God and willing obedience to the 
Moral Law that can be said to constitute the essence 
of true religion from the Jewish standpoint, whether 
the Kabbalah be or be not consulted. Many glori- 
ous mysteries long concealed are to be revealed when 
the gladsome day dawns on which the veil will be 
removed which has for so many centuries overlain 
the Sanctuary, and as the happy period draws nigh 
even little children will penetrate to a wonderful 
arcana. If we are bound to consider a great variety 
of Kabbalistic traditions and predictions we may be 
led to suppose that several Messiahs are to be made 
manifest in differing degrees of splendor, and to 
each one of these will be assigned some special 
mission in the world's regeneration ; 4 Messiahs are 
familiar to students of Kabbalah, called respectively 

160 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

Son of Jesse (highest of them all) ; Son of Ephraim 
(who is referred to as a warrior) ; Son of Joseph, 
and Son of David. Sometimes the 2 latter seem to 
be but 2 titles applied to the same individual. 

In view of the mental excitement now abounding 
over the likelihood of the speedy appearance of a 
World-Teacher who will inaugurate a new era in 
religion and statesmanship, and prove an arbitrator 
between different nations now presumably hostile to 
each other's interests, it may prove somewhat edify- 
ing to follow the Kabbalists in a few of their in- 
genious and intricate predictions, all looking to ulti- 
mate enlightenment and pacification of our (at pres- 
ent) storm-tossed world. The Ass upon which 
Messiah is to ride is variously dealt with as a symbol 
of peace and also(as the lower nature of humanity 
which is to be totally subdued) but in no way muti- 
lated or destroyed by the one who rides thereon. 
Even when we are told that it is a "demon that shall 
be curbed' ' we need feel no surprise fof the "mys- 
tery of godliness" may well be associated closely 
with the complete subjugation of all those animal im- 
pulses which when rampant and dominant are the 
cause of unspeakable misery and degradation to the 
human race. 

All manner of curious doctrines familiar to read- 
ers of Occult, Spiritualistic, and kindred literature 
are dealt with in the Zohar; particular reference 

of the Messiah 161 

being made to the theory of spiritual counterparts. 
In A. E. Waite's exhaustive treatise, "The Secret 
Doctrine in Israel" (pages 146-7), we read: "The 
time of the coming of Messiah will be when all souls 
who are kept in the treasury of souls against the 
day of their incarnation shall have actually come 
hither in flesh. Thereafter it would seem that new 
souls will be incarnated in Israel. Then shall the ot ^^ '„ % 
chosen people deserve to find — and shall not fail ,+^c &/***+*& 
herein — the beloved sister-soul predestined to each ^< 
from the beginning of creation." Intruders are to 
be utterly banished, and by intruders in the esotericSc^ 
sense we may well understand whatsoever would 
mar the harmony of human relations in the Golden 
Age. "Out of the heart and the mind shall the In- 
truders be cast, once and for all, and the soul shall 
find the Spouse." "It is a forecast of that time 
when the Mystery of Union, which is now a Mys- 
tery of Faith, shall have entered into realization in 
experience on this earth of ours, and as in the world 
above there is no distinction between Shekinah and 
the Holy One, so in that which is below there shall 
be such a spiritual communion between the Lover 
and the Beloved that the voice of the turtledove, 
which is the Canticle of Canticles, shall be heard 
everywhere, and of that time it may be said: The 
male with the female, neither male nor female." 
What follows is so extremely curious, and as it af- 

162 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

fords so realistic an example of Kabbalistic teach- 
ing, that though many readers may pronounce it of 
dubious authenticity we present it as an interesting 
matter for consideration in highly condensed form, 
and especially do we refer it to the thoughtful atten- 
tion of any who enjoy speculating upon the signifi- 
cance of numbers. 

When 60 years shall have passed since the 6th 
century of the 6th millenary it is foretold that heaven 
shall visit the Daughter of Jacob. In the 70th year 
Messiah shall be made manifest in Galilee. There 
are 5 great portents announcing this sublime event : 
(1) The rainbow (now tarnished) will shine with 
amazing brilliancy "like a betrothed lady adorned 
to meet her spouse." (2) A star will appear in the 
East and swallow up 7 stars in the North. (3) A 
fixed star will appear in the midst of the firmament 
and will be visible for 70 days. It will emit 70 rays 
and be surrounded by 70 other stars. (4) The city 
of Rome (or Babylon) will fall to pieces. (5) A 
mighty king will arise and conquer the world. War 
will be declared against Israel, but the Chosen Peo- 
ple will be delivered. There is one tradition to the 
effect that the 70 celestial Chiefs who rule the 70 
nations of the earth, will marshal all the legions of 
the world to make war upon Jerusalem, but they 
will be overthrown by the power of the Holy One. 
The Messiah will draw the whole world to him and 

{..£',** v> fin 

of the Messiah 163 

bring about a perfect union between the heavens ' 
and the earth. 

Israel Zangwill, in one of his remarkable semi- 
historical novels, "The Turkish Messiah," gives a 
thrilling account of a wave of fanaticism which at 
one time broke over some parts of Europe in con- 
sequence of the arrogant claims of a curious man 
who made many people believe that he was indeed 
Messiah. Such a character may be, in a degree, sin- 
cere, because it is surely possible for an extremely 
self-conceited individual to persuade himself that 
he is in some special sense a messenger of Heaven, 
but, as in the case of the central figure in Zangwill's 
instructive tale, such bombastic personages flare up 
like the proverbial rocket and soon die down like 
the proverbial stick. In the Kabbalah we find the 
source of Zangwill's most dramatic incident, which 
refers to the fanatic claimant to Messiaship pro- 
nouncing the most glorious and awful Name with- 
out producing any result whatever, though it is made 
to appear that his pronunciation of the awe-inspiring 
Tetragrammaton was technically correct. The 
Zohar fully confirms the prediction made in many 
sections of Kabbalistic literature that through human 
transgression heaven and earth have been in some 
way separated, and that whenever Messiah appears 
on earth and speaks the unifying word the breach 
will be completely healed and God and Man will be 

164 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

in perfect unity. Messiah is said to be now dwell- 
ing in a spiritual Eden from which he is expected 
to come forth into outer manifestation and establish 
a corresponding terrestrial Eden. There is now a 
secret place called poetically "The Bird's Nest" 
where Messiah dwells, awaiting his manifestation 
in the external world. This symbol of the bird sug- 
gests the sacred Dove mentioned in Genesis and 
which throughout Christendom is accepted as a law- 
ful emblem of the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew, Ruach 
ha Kodesh). Though the doctrine of vicarious suf- 
fering, as commonly understood by orthodox Chris- 
tians, is foreign to the spirit of Judaism and totally 
at variance with the plain teaching of many of the 
greater prophets, notably Ezekiel, there is a sense 
in which the Kabbalah appears to teach that Mes- 
siah is the sin-bearer on behalf of Israel in particu- 
lar, and finally of all humanity ; but there is a secret 
doctrine, now becoming considerably open, in which 
we may interpret this idea much more helpfully. 
In avowedly esoteric circles the inner doctrine con- 
cerning atonement and forgiveness is very clearly 
explained, and the time has now fully come when 
these deeper meanings must be given to the world. 
Let us dismiss from our minds completely all ideas 
of imputation and substitution in the old sense and 
contemplate the going forth of a tide of healing 
virtue perpetually from a Messiah who is altogether 

of the Messiah 165 

virtuous. That is exactly the idea conveyed in the 
Christian Gospels when read in their original sim- * % fc r 
plicity. Virtue is said to stream forth from a sacred 
Person and enter into all his wearing apparel, and 
then flow forth to many sick and suffering sorrowers 
who approached him with conviction that they would 
be healed. We have only to turn the now prevailing 
doctrine of infection and contagion into a health- 
ward channel to comprehend at a glance the original 
concept, which is indeed sublime. As much reliable 
medical testimony is to the effect that diseases are 
communicable, though not always communicated, so 
is there testimony of a higher sort to the effect that 
health in the fullest meaning of that wide-embracing 
term is communicable and frequently communicated. 
This knowledge so far antedates the commencement 
of the Christian era that every student of much 
earlier records than any portion of the New Testa- 
ment, finds overwhelming evidence to the happy 
prevalence of confidence in spiritual and other heal- 
ing ministries in ancient Israel and among the classic 
Greeks and many other distinguished peoples. 

Messiah is regarded as Healer par excellence, and 
his ministry is to incline the hearts and minds of 
multitudes to righteousness in every conceivable 
direction. Many modern plays which readily have 
achieved extensive popularity embody much of the 
Messianic spirit, notably such truly elevating dramas 

166 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

as Kennedy's "The Servant in the House" and 
Jerome's "The Passing of the 3rd Floor Back." 
Either of those stories will give any thoughtful 
reader of the book or witnesser of the play an ex- 
cellent outline idea of how Messiah is to do his work 
when he appears, according to the best traditions. 

We are beginning to return to an ancient holy 
conception of the inseparable connection between 
inward holiness and outward health, and though we 
must all confess that many intentionally upright per- 
sons are suffering from grievous ailments, modern 
thought is rightly attributing these maladies to an 
undue submissiveness to wrongs in the present social 
disorder which can and must be rectified. If sensi- 
tive yielding persons are frequently the victims of 
unholy contagion, those same persons can surely be 
liberated from present afflictions by the advent of a 
holy health-giving effluence which will prove anti- 
dotal to all inclement influences. Messiah is only 
the Leader-in-chief of a noble numerous army of co- 
workers who will all pull together to establish and 
maintain the rule of health and righteousness on 
earth, and we cannot have the former without the 
latter or the latter apart from the former except 
spasmodically, and then but temporarily and in il- 
lusory appearance only. The Kabbalah foretells 
every possible blessing as on its way to the whole 
human race through the coming of Messiah, who is 

of the Messiah 167 

the representative of a spiritual Israel. The Zohar 
declares that God created humanity for the express 
purpose of manifesting the Lesser Countenance, a 
term which when translated into our immediate ver- 
nacular, means definitely a Divine revelation in the 
form of a regenerated Humanity. 

This Lesser Countenance is the Son of God, not 
one individual alone, entirely unique and therefore 
everlastingly different from all other members of the 
human solidarity, but an Elder Brother, a Holy 
Firstfruits, whose triumphal resurrection, ascension 
and glorification in the mystical sense, is typical and 
representative of the ultimate glorification of the en- 
tire human family. Broader and narrower views of 
Messiaship are not necessarily conflicting, and in 
these days of unwearying conflict in the realm of 
thought it is surely useful to seek a. common denom- 
inator, so that all who are striving to increase fra- 
ternal love and true comradeship among individuals 
and nations may intelligently co-operate as far as 
possible. [The clannishness and arrogance, which 
mar the letter of nearly all theologies, need to be 
broken through and swept away so that the interior 
truth long concealed behind these obscuring and sep- 
arating veils may shed its benign radiance over the 
weary waiting world. More and more is it becom- 
ing evident that we are close upon the dawn of a new 
age, unless destruction is to overtake our planet. 

168 Doctrine of the 3 Temples 

Though the Kabbalah is by no means the only 
prophet of the rising dawn, it is a stalwart optimis- 
tic witness whose testimony is well worth consider- 
ing as that of a powerful voice calling especially to 
Israel, and ultimately to the whole world through 
Israel, to work righteousness and trust in the power 
thereof, and thus prepare the way for the Messianic 
Age of universal concord and efficient happy 
industry. - £W**v, 



Now that so much controversy is centering around 
the idea of the soul, its origin, nature and destiny, 
and the most widely divergent views on many points 
are being put forward as parts of a present-day 
revelation, it may be a matter of historic interest, 
at least to many readers, to gain some outline view 
of how Kabbalists have taught and philosophized 
on this vast and always fascinating subject. A. E. 
Waite, who treats every topic with extreme exhaust- 
iveness of detail, has devoted several chapters to 
this gigantic theme to which we can only give a few 
pages, but in the following condensed summary we 
think it will not be difficult to find several salient 
points stated intelligibly. 

The doctrine of spiritual pre-existence is taught 
by all Kabbalists, but on the question of re-incarna- 
tion, and of the resurrection of the body, there is 
considerable divergence of thought and expression. 
The Zohar distinctly mentions the many mansions 
or abiding places in the Father's House as they are 


170 Kabbalistic Teachings 

alluded to in the 14th chapter of the 4th gospel. 
The exact wording of that familiar portion of the 
New Testament bears overwhelming testimony to 
the fact that a Master addressing disciples was re- 
minding them of a doctrine with which they were 
already acquainted, otherwise how can we account 
for the phrase "if it were not so I would have told 
you"? Paradise is said to have "no other mission 
but to come into this world," which means that the 
souls constituting a society or sphere prior to in- 
carnation must leave their blissful state of innocence 
and descend (not fall) into material conditions for 
purposes of self-conscious development. Practically 
all the Fathers of the early Christian Church taught 
pre-existence, no matter whether they had received 
their philosophic basis from Hebraic or Hellenic 
sources, for Jews and Greeks alike proclaimed this 
doctrine, somewhat as it is poetically and dramat- 
ically portrayed by Maurice Maeterlinck in "The 
Bluebird." The soul, according to Kabbalistic 
philosophy, has to be stripped of its paradisaical 
body that it may be clothed with a terrene envelope, 
and every soul wends it way earthward sorrowing, 
as though proceeding into exile; but this world is 
a school, a workshop, a laboratory, but in no sense 
a place of punishment. As the doctrine of Karma 
is so much to the front in these days in many 
places, and the object of terrestrial existence is al- 

Concerning the Soul 171 

ways an undecided point, except among those who 
are truly illumined inwardly, it would be a great 
help toward clearing mental ground for subsequent 
discussion did we rid our phraseology straightway 
of all burdensome and erroneous ideas that any soul 
is being "punished" by incarnation; indeed it would 
be an immense help to clear thinking if the ugly 
word punishment were banished from our vocabu- 
lary, for it is excessively misleading and imports 
harsh notions into theology which find their corre- 
spondent expression in barbaric usages which are 
a disgrace to assumed civilization and productive of 
nothing but strife and degradation wherever they 
are introduced. Consequences are pleasant or un- 
pleasant according to the nature of the cause whence 
effects proceed ; and as this world is a school, neither 
a hell nor a heaven, we are all experimenters and 
while we cannot do any permanent injury to the 
"framework of the universe," which, according to 
James Russell Lowell, is certainly "fireproof," we 
can temporarily inconvenience ourselves by our mis- 
takes, and when we pay educational and corrective 
penalties we are very foolish if we impugn the good- 
ness of the Eternal and embitter our own lives by 
morosely regarding suffering as either useless or 
vindictive when it is in every case instructive in the 
last analysis. The Kabbalistic idea of how souls 
come to earth agrees remarkably well with the f oun- 

172 Kabbalistic Teachings 

dation of the doctrine of affinities which has led to 
much error on account of a grievous misinterpreta- 
tion of the primal concept. We find in the Zohar 
a familiar teaching on this intricate theme if we 
have read anything of the ancient doctrine of coun- 
terparts which is still vigorously upheld by many 
authors and powerfully illustrated by Marie Corelli 
in her thrilling story of spiritual adventure, "The 
Life Everlasting." All souls awaiting incarnation 
are arranged in pairs; the one destined to inhabit 
a male body is placed by the side of one ordained 
to animate a female form, therefore those who find 
each other on earth as true counterparts have been 
previously united in a paradisaical state. The Kab- 
balistic idea of an ideal marriage is essentially 
sublime and it throws light upon the use of a plural 
Hebrew word translated "thou" in the command- 
ment concerning the Sabbath. Every thoughtful 
reciter of the 10 commandments must have won- 
dered why there is no mention made of a man's wife 
when the next commandment calls upon all children 
to equally honor their father and mother, and in the 
earlier instance son and daughter, man servant and 
maid servant are distinctively enumerated. The real 
answer is found only in the doctrine of complete 
unity in the married state, so that husband and wife 
are no longer twain, and neither one or the other 
is head of the family, the family being headed by 

Concerning the Soul 173 

father and mother equally. This is the only solid 
base on which domestic felicity can be reared, and 
it is the only tenable position in these gradually 
enlightening days in which sex equality is being 
fought for in many lands with courage and vigor 

^so tremendously in earnest as to compel the atten- 
tion of even the most reluctant among belated poli- 

From a Superior Eden into an Inferior Eden, says 
the Kabbalah, does the soul descend. Wordsworth's 
exquisite ode, "Immortality," voices well this an- 
cient thought, and surely human experience abun- 
dantly confirms it. 

We often hear to-day of the possibility of pro- 
longing existence in our earthly bodies as long as 
we may desire, and many are the references in 
modern literature to Enoch and Elijah, 2 of the 
most mysterious of biblical characters. The Zohar 
mentions these as belonging to a small select com- 
pany who are capable of ascending into heaven by 
a transmutative process without laying down their 
physical bodies by an act of death. The familiar 
Shakesperian quotation from Hamlet's soliloquy, 
"when we have shuffled off this mortal coil," sug- 
gests far more the idea of a voluntary act than of 
yielding to the scythe of a grim destroyer. In the 
majority of cases souls are said to have some diffi- 
culty in exercising dominion over their external 

174 Kabbalistic Teachings 

shapes, and this marks the distinction between or- 
dinary persons and the illustrious patriarchs. As 
a human entity embodied on earth is composed of 
Nephesh, Ruach and Neshamah, and neither Ruach 
nor Neshamah suggest sinfulness, sin is exclusively 
of the lower principle. This assertion throws much 
light on the saying, "sin is of the flesh," for while 
flesh itself does not commit sin, the animating prin- 
ciple of the flesh, or lower mind, is that which goes 
astray. The 3 degrees are superposed one upon the 
other, but ordinary men and women have not dis- 
covered Neshamah. The finding of the higher prin- 
ciple within is what is meant by the Gnostic phrase, 
"finding the Christ," the higher self of our human- 
ity. Discovery of the soul is through the gateways 
j of reverence and penitence. Nephesh forms the body 
/and directs exterior procreation. Ruach causes 
Nephesh to act intelligently. Neshamah is the high- 
est force in humanity and issues from the mystical 
Tree of Life. It is interesting to note how the 
Kabbalah treats the Bible characters in an altogether 
super-historical manner. Abraham represents the 
inmost soul; Sarah the secondary soul; Isaac the 
intellectual principle; Rebecca the vital principle. 
The Bible read in such a light as this is entirely 
above the reach of historical criticism, for its nar- 
ratives are resolved into poems and parables and 
take on a significance vastly wider than any merely 

Concerning the Soul 1 75 

literal interpretation can logically attribute to them. 
Many superficial thinkers are greatly perturbed over 
the fact that it is now abundantly proved that no 
great spiritual teachings are solitary and that all 
Sacred Scriptures have numerous points in common. 
There are two hopeless positions still maintained in 
quarters where spiritual freedom and enlightenment 
have not yet dispelled the gloom of bigotry and ig- 
norance; one untenable attitude being that some 
single religious system has a monopoly of truth, the 
other that all spiritual histories are fairy tales with- 
out foundation in solid reason. The only ground 
that can be taken and held invincibly against all on- 
slaughts is a position that proves impregnable 
against attack because it answers more rationally 
and satisfactorily than any other questions continu- 
ally being raised in consequence of constantly widen- 
ing archaeological researches and discoveries. Bibles 
and religious ceremonies were originally intended 
to set forth everlasting verities and to> celebrate per- 
petually recurring mysteries, not to simply commem- 
orate events fixed arbitrarily in history or to relate 
biographical narratives exclusively relating to cer- 
tain personalities. 

Kabbalism is an unfailing fount of inspiration to 
the student because it interferes in no way with free 
scientific investigation and historical research and 
always affords food for contemplation concerning 

1 76 Kabbalistic Teachings 

the perpetual renewal of human experiences of divers 
kinds as generation follows generation,(so that while 
pupils graduate schools remain relatively permanent 
for the accommodation of successive troops of 

Though a triadic classification of human contain- 
ment is as frequently encountered in the Kabbalah 
as in any other occult literature, the 7-fold classifi- 
cation is by no means absent therefrom, and it is as 
easily understood, together with the 3-fold, as it is 
easy to comprehend the well-known division of a 
single ray of white light into 3 primary colors and 
then into 7 prismatic hues. 4 is also greatly dwelt 
upon by Kabbalists and it would not be difficult to 
discover traces of a root-idea closely resembling the 
theosophical division of the human individual as 
expressed on earth into a higher triad and a lower 

Concerning spiritual progression here and here- 
after the Zohar states that the soul of a man who 
has consecrated himself to a study of the Law on 
leaving his earthly body goes to a blissful abode by 
the pathways of the Law, so that his knowledge 
acquired on earth is of use to him hereafter, but 
those who have wilfully neglected to obtain knowl- 
edge go astray along roads that lead to Geburah, a 
state of suffering. Symbolically speaking, the Law 
goes before the soul which has delighted in sacred 

Concerning the Soul 1 11 

study and opens all celestial doors before it. The 
Law remains with the soul until the day of resur- 
rection when it will be that soul's defender. The 
resurrection is open to various interpretations, and 
it does not appear certain that all Kabbalists have 
entertained precisely the same idea concerning it. 
From one viewpoint it appears to refer to the end 
of a cycle or period of time, and is therefore con- 
nected with spiritual harvesting; in that case the 
resurrection of the body signifies an attainment of 
a regenerate state, and this applies to a body of 
souls as we speak of a corporate organization which 
of necessity includes many individual units. 

Concerning those who have made a diligent study 
of the Law it is declared that after the resurrection 
they retain or recover a full knowledge thereof, and 
this must be taken in connection with the affirmation 
that the Law is altogether wise and true, therefore 
the idea is that all truth once appropriated will be 
forever retained, but error will be forgotten in a 
day of universal illumination. A broad hint on the 
persistence of dominant affections is found in the 
declaration that those who have lovingly and indus- 
triously busied themselves with studying the Law 
on earth will continue to study it hereafter; and as 
the Law is to be applied to an adjustment of all 
conditions for the good of all, this legal occupation 
promises beneficent results if such truly celestial 

1 78 Kabbalistic Teachings 

lawyers are to have charge of human affairs in a 
coming brighter era. The doctrine of 7 spheres is 
found in the Kabbalah, which mentions 7 celestial 
palaces in which a great Mystery of Faith is con- 
tained; 6 of these palaces can be investigated by 
human understanding, but the 7th is inaccessible to 
human reason as at present unfolded. When the 
souls of those who have lived on earth uprightly 
pass into the spiritual estate they enter the first 
palace and in it they are gradually prepared for 
the 2nd. and so on up the scale. The 2nd palace 
is ready to receive immediately they pass from earth 
those souls whom we call martyrs, those who have 
suffered valiantly in a righteous cause and have 
chosen thus to win a martyr's crown rather than 
submit to tyranny and refuse aid to their brethren 
struggling for emancipation. To attain this spirit- 
ual altitude they must have cultivated a thankful to- 
gether with a heroic spirit and not have neglected 
continual aspiration. Messiah visits souls in this 
2nd sphere and draws them upward into a 3rd es- 
tate. The 3rd sphere receives those who have suf- 
fered very greatly on earth through no fault of their 
own ; the effect of their anguish having been the 
acceleration of their development, so that they have 
literally become quickly ripened through an excess 
of heat or pressure, as flowers and fruits can be 
more quickly brought to fulness of bloom and mel- 

Concerning the Soul 1 79 

lowed when extra heat is used to force them. The 
souls of young children are also found there and 
Messiah soon draws such into the 4th sphere which 
is an abode of great happiness and contains the 
souls of those who have "shared the sorrow of 
Zion," and also those who have been slain in holy 
warfare. The 5th palace is the place of "true peni- 
tents who have restored their souls to a state of 
purity, and of those who have sanctified the Name 
of their Master by meeting death for His glory." 
The 6th sphere contains those who have been filled 
to overflowing with divine love and have, in a 
special manner, proclaimed the Divine Unity. The 
7th estate is like unto that Heaven of Catholic the- 
ology where the completely sanctified enjoy the 
Beatific Vision. 

Concerning re-incarnation there seems no com- 
plete unity of sentiment, though many allusions are 
made to the process. It does not seem that the 
Kabbalah teaches in the least dogmatically that all 
souls now embodied on earth must return for an- 
^K^other terrestrial journey, but it does emphasize the 
fact that when some specific work which can only 
be done on earth has not been fulfilled an opportunity 
is afforded for another earthward pilgrimage. Prob- 
ably the great majority of Kabbalists insist that re- 
incarnation is usually necessary, for it is only they 
who need no more of earthly discipline for whom 

180 Kabbalistic Teachings 

it does not exist. One significant expression reads : 
"Seeing that he also is flesh," which is interpreted 
to mean still subject to the dominion of flesh or to 
encasement therein, for no soul can be flesh though 
it can be clothed therewith. The literal meaning of 
many Kabbalistic sayings regarding Palestine would 
make spiritual gradation a question of geography, 
for we read many times of the high estate of souls 
who pass away in Palestine and the far inferior con- 
dition of all who leave the flesh elsewhere ;\but this 
use of the name of a beloved country must be under- 
stood metaphorically as referring to a spiritual Holy 
Land, which is an interior condition regardless of 
place of physical abode. Judaism always teaches 
that "God's people are all the righteous," and that 
Gentiles who live uprightly have full participation 
in the blessedness of the world or life to come; it 
therefore follows that those commentators mischiev- 
ously confound letter with spirit who harp upon the 
geographical allusions in the Zohar. Mysterious 
allusions to 2 souls animating a single body at the 
same time can easily be disposed of in the light of 
spiritual overshadowing. For example, the soul of 
Abel is said to have animated Seth and the soul of 
Rachel, at her physical decease, to have animated 
her son Benjamin, but there is nothing in those 
statements properly suggestive of any other idea 
than that of spirit-communion of a very intimate 

Concerning the Soul 181 

character. Though the doctrine of a literal resur- 
rection of physical bodies is always practically in- 
conceivable, it being surrounded with insuperable 
difficulties, Kabbalists have speculated widely con- 
cerning it, but the conclusions at which they have 
generally arrived are too vague to be easily defined. 
There are 4 ideas concerning physical resurrection 
which are comprehensible: (1) Re-incarnation, 
which implies taking a new physical body. (2) The 
upbuilding of a new body around the permanent 
atom or nucleolus of a former body; a doctrine 
taught by many Gnostics whose views on the resur- 
rection are by no means at variance with physical 
science regarding the perpetual changes being 
wrought in the physique from day to day, so that 
possibly in a single year or less (in 7 years at ut- 
most) every particle of the physical structure has 
been remodeled except the permanent atom, which 
is always the sole potential physical body. (3) The 
attainment of a body which can be immortalized be- 
cause of its perfectness, and therefore one which 
does not decay. (4) Materialization of a body by 
one who has learned the secret of mastery over all 
material elements. A passage in the Zohar reads: 
"If these bodies have fulfilled meritorious works 
they will continue, but if not they will return to 

182 Kabbalistic Teachings 

Concerning Sheol (the Underworld) there are 
many traces of similarity to ancient Egyptian doc- 
trines in the Kabbalah. Many things are veiled from 
humanity while in the flesh until transition ap- 
proaches, then the mystic curtain is lifted to some 
extent and the soul catches glimpses of the state 
upon which it is about to enter; 3 messengers are 
said to attend a deathbed, or its equivalent, and they 
take account of the entire life of the one who is 
about to pass away. The departing spirit acknowl- 
edges the correctness of the record and signs it. In 
accordance with its own signature is each soul 
judged. Nothing can be fairer than the doctrine 
embodied in this statement, for it unmistakably im- 
plies identity of doctrine with the famous passage 
in the Apocalypse : "My rew r ard is with me to give 
to every man according as his work shall be." Hav- 
ing crossed the mystic threshold the soul soon recog- 
nizes many it has known on earth. The Zohar states 
that at the time of death man is able to see his de- 
parted friends and to recognize them clearly. If his 
life has been, on the whole, worthy they salute him 
with great joy, but if the preponderance of his life 
has gravitated toward evil then he beholds those 
whom he formerly knew who are expiating their 
offences in a kind of purgatory. (Everywhere char- 
acter is made the test, not belief in any doctrines: 
A general thesis is that everyone while living on 

Concerning the Soul 183 

earth forms a definite connection with the unseen 
world and the nature of that connection, through 
the working of the undeviating law of attraction, 
determines state or condition in the hereafter. 
Though such a word as "everlasting" is sometimes 
used by Kabbalists concerning the duration of fu- 
ture suffering, it always means long-enduring sim- 
ply, it being employed in a popular sense in which 
we call durations everlasting which are beyond our 
present computation. But much more frequently in 
the Kabbalah we read of specified periods allotted 
to corrective chastisement, which is often limited to 
12 Kabbalistic months. Concerning hells they are 
said to exist chiefly for those who have committed 
the 3 most grievous sins, viz., murder, incest and 
idolatry. Fire and ice are both mentioned sym- 
bolically in connection with penal sufferings, much 
as we find them in Dante's Inferno. All men are 
to be acquitted eventually and Satan is to return to 
his primal Luciferean state. The Zohar advocates 
prayers for the departed and accounts them of avail. 
Such in very brief is an outline of a few of the more 
prominent among an enormous mass of Kabbalistic 

Many a bulky volume could easily be filled with 
illustrative citations, but the object of this modest 
treatise being only to give the general reader a taste 
of a few Kabbalistic solids and delicacies, we refrain 

184 Kabbalistic Teachings 

from going further into detail here and now, though 
the hundredth part has not been told. As the Kab- 
balah is truly a profound theosophical study — and 
by no means a single book or treatise written all at 
one time, or even by a band of collaborating authors 
-who have collectively and successively agreed on all 
subjects — we are justified in taking its inculcations 
into account more as varied contributions to a the- 
osophical mosaic than as sharp definitions of estab- 
lished doctrine couched in unalterable symbolic 

The very elastic nature of some of the language 
employed by certain Kabbalists has led some Chris- 
tians to claim it as a Christian as well as a Jewish 
work, and there are many passages scattered here 
and there which are closely aligned with mystical, 
though not with literal dogmatic Christianity. It 
is, however, reasonable and moderate to consider the 
Kabbalah as a whole as a theosophical compilation 
belonging to the Jewish school, and as it is a lead- 
ing tenet of acknowledged Theosophy that persons 
of all creeds and nationalities can be federated into 
a spiritual fellowship, from the often puzzling pages 
of the Kabbalah many a valuable sentence may be 
drawn which, when supplemented by citations from 
other sources, may serve to illustrate afresh and 
forcibly how true is the declaration now coming to 
the front in all enlightened circles, that there is a 

Concerning the Soul 185 

Wisdom Religion, absolutely universal, and that an 
acquaintance therewith, 4 even in slight measure, will 
do immeasurably much to break down offensive and 
dangerous barriers between different sections of the 
human race. 

Looking around us everywhere to-day we see 
manifested the direful results of false religious con- 
cepts, the falsity of which is clearly demonstrated by 
the havoc they produce. It is surely a practical ques- 
tion, and one of intensest moment to us all, to seek 
to promote mutual understanding among individu- 
als, parties and nations, seeing that when not ac- 
tually engaged in warfare we appear to be perpetu- 
ally on the brink of hostile outbreaks all over the 
world, and that largely because we cling with big- 
otry and stupidity to a policy of mutual mistrust 
and recrimination which can produce no other effect 
than to endanger the peace and safety of all com- 

Children need to be instructed in the essentials of 
universal religion. Text books should be wisely 
and impartially compiled showing wherein all the 
Bibles of the world fundamentally agree and how 
we may find a common denominator. Universal re- 
ligion is like universal language, it does not insist 
upon itself alone any more than a study of Esperanto 
forbids us from acquiring a knowledge of other lan- 
guages and conversing in various tongues. But we 
cannot all learn to speak several languages fluently, 

186 Kabbalistic Teachings 

consequently it is highly desirable, and rapidly be- 
coming imperative, that we should all be able to 
speak and write an international language in addi- 
tion to our mother tongue, whatever that may be. 
The symbolism of the Kabbalah is for those who 
understand it a sign language in which all can con- 
verse, and we know how much more nearly uni- 
versal symbols can be than words, for if we draw 
the shape of any natural object familiar to us all 
by sight, though we cannot understand each others' 
speech we can soon learn to converse with each 
other freely by writing under the drawing the dif- 
ferent words we severally employ to designate the 
object. Masonic symbolism holds Freemasons to- 
gether all over the world, and it is a well-known 
fact that ritual observances serve to keep many 
bodies of people together who without these out- 
ward bonds would soon lose mutual sympathetic 
touch. The mysteries of the Kabbalah are quite un- 
familiar to a large percentage of Jews, including 
many broad-minded and cultured sons and daugh- 
ters of Israel, but there has always been a Secret 
Tradition in Israel, as there has been in Christendom 
also, and equally among professors of different Ori- 
ental cults. Never can there be uniformity of 
thought and practise among growing intellects, (but 
spiritual unity there always has been and ever must 
be among the truly enlightened?) To become uni- 

Concerning the Soul 187 

form would destroy all natural beauty and lead to 
the abolition of all that is fair in art, for contrasts 
there must be or naught but monotony can be con- 
ceived. Let us now present in the concisest possible 
manner a few of the definite doctrines we have culled 
from our very hasty and imperfect delving into* the 
deep mystical waters of the Kabbalah. Once more 
paying our respects to A. E. Waite, and acknowl- 
edging our indebtedness to his intensely scholarly 
work, "The Secret Doctrine in Israel," we offer this 
final excerpt from the chapter entitled "Conclusion 
on Jewish Theosophy." "It is worth while for- 
mulating its irreducible minimums as follows : ( I ) 
The Communion of the Divine Duality, Ineffable 
Male and Female, in the supernal world, generates 
human souls, male and female, in Its own likeness, 
who assume flesh — according to a law of succes- 
sion. (2) They are intended to find one another 
in earthly life and to enter into marriage therein; 
but there are various interventions which postpone 
and even seem to frustrate the general design, yet 
it is accomplished unfailingly in the case of those 
who keep the Law. (3) The souls return into the 
spiritual world and are reunited forever therein. 
(4) The keeping of the Sex Law, which is part of 
the Secret Doctrine, ensures the procreation of those 
who may be called Children of the Doctrine, assur- 
edly a peculiar people/' 

188 Kabbalistic Teachings 

We have not greatly touched upon the distinctly- 
magical elements which many students declare 
abound throughout all Kabbalistic writings — the 
Kabbalah as a whole is indeed sometimes designated 
an "arbatel of magic" — and the same title has been 
applied by magicians to several books of the Bible. 
That many students of magical arts have endeavored 
to reach magical results with the aid of the Kabbalah 
is beyond question, but it is a very open question 
among impartial delvers how far the original pur- 
pose of the Kabbalah is connected with magic. As 
magic is called by the most enlightened among its 
advocates Magnum Opus, we can readily see how 
High Magic may pertain to a marvellous degree of 
control over the elementary forces of Nature, and 
this dominion is only to be gained by a measure of 
self-culture and self-control on the part of the ma- 
gician very far beyond the ordinary. White Magic 
is altogether commendable, for it signifies the exer- 
cise of unusual powers with benevolent intent and 
for the accomplishment of beneficent ends. Black 
magic is rightly condemned wholesale, because it 
means a perversion of powers with malevolent de- 
sign for the fulfilment of maleficent results. As 
all faculties are good in themselves and all can and 
should be consecrated to holy services and utilized 
for worthy ends, it properly becomes all religious and 
ethical teachers to discriminate at all times and in 

Concerning the Soul 189 

all circumstances not so much between outward 
words and actions as between the motives which 
prompt the utterance of words and the performance 
of actions. More and more is the world coming to 
realize the stupendous force inherent in unspoken 
desire. Mental speech is often far more effective 
to accomplish far-reaching results than the most 
powerful bursts of outward oratory, and as we come 
increasingly to realize that our thoughts and aspira- 
tions are immeasurably more potent than any of our 
exterior performances, we shall grow to attach some- 
thing like the importance the theme deserves to a 
consideration of the lives we live in secret. 

Reputations may be bought and sold in an earthly 
market-place, but character (which is interior) 
alone regulates our association with unseen forces 
and entities. 

Those whose aspirations are pure and whose 
thoughts are noble have nothing to fear from unseen 
influences, unless they weakly yield submission to 
fears that paralyze the intellect and throw the mind 
open to all manner of miscellaneous influx. 
f"^No matter to what race or society we may belong, 
if we are true to the inner light as far as we per- 
ceive it, and wish well to all our neighbors, we are 
on the high road to health, joy, peace and prosperity 
in the fullest and deepest meanings of those vastly 
comprehensive words. 



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